10-year-old makes helping others a holiday tradition - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

10-year-old makes helping others a holiday tradition

10-year-old Mitchell is donating items for the second year in a row. 10-year-old Mitchell is donating items for the second year in a row.

An elementary school student is making helping others an annual tradition.

Mitchell Dashoff collected items for the less fortunate for the second year in a row. The ten-year-old and his father Steve delivered the items to Manna House Tuesday afternoon.

No new toys, nothing wrapped, but for Mitchell, the pile of gently-worn clothes and sleeping bags is more exciting than Christmas morning.

"Got some scarves... socks," he said as he examined the haul. "I got a really heavy coat. Whoever gets that is going to be lucky."

Lucky, warmer, and likely touched, knowing where it came from. Everything donated - hundreds of items - was gathered and collected by Mitchell for those who need it.

Steve could be called the proudest dad in Huntsville. "The garage was full," he recalled. "Had boxes coming from Arizona, Maryland, Baltimore. People were shipping things from all over."

Dad said the idea was purely Mitchell's; no prompting, no pushing. In fact, when he asked Mitchell what he wanted for Christmas, the boy replied, "I want the homeless and needy to get what they need, but apparently Santa was just not okay with that. He is already on his way."

Mitchell said Santa sent his dad an email saying he has a few things in his sack just for Mitchell, despite his plea to go without.

It's that kind of selflessness that gives Manna House Director Fran Fluhler hope for the future. "It's very inspirational that the next generation has got a heart to help and that they're going to carry on taking care of people in the community," she said.

"He's taught me a lot," added Steve.

"I just do it because no one does it. There has to be someone who does this to help the homeless," said Mitchell.

This is not the first year Mitchell has collected items for the needy. Last year, he collected sleeping bags and donated them to Manna House as well.

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