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A 9-year-old starts sleeping bag drive

Mitchell and Steve Dashoff collect sleeping bags at Empire Fitness to give to the Mana House.

A Madison Elementary student is working to help local homeless people stay warm this winter.

Mitchell Dashoff, 9, volunteered with his mother Sheila Dashoff at the Manna House food pantry in Huntsville a few weeks ago.

He did not stop helping when he finished serving desserts at the Manna House. “When I was done, I wanted to do more,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell convinced Madison Elementary to have a sleeping bag drive. Sleeping bags are also being collected at Empire Fitness where his father Steve Dashoff works. 

“It was all his idea,” Steve said.

Mitchell said he chose to do a sleeping bag drive because they will help for a long time. “I wanted to do something so they could use them a lot,” Mitchell said.

The sleeping bags will be given to the Manna House to distribute.

Steve said about 40 sleeping bags were brought into Empire Fitness in the last few days, and they currently have $120 in donations to buy new sleeping bags. 

“This morning somebody walked in and put $100 in my dad’s hand,” Mitchell said.

Gently used or new sleeping bags may be dropped off at Empire Fitness on U.S. Highway 72, Madison Elementary in downtown Madison, SportsMED on Hughes Road, or Sherwood Baptist Church on Old Madison Pike.

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