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Homeless sleep-out aims to help Gordon Area Food Shelf

Jack Haskins of Solon Springs will hold his 10th annual sleepout for the Gordon Area Food Shelf today. It kicks off at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of Nyquist Road and U.S. Highway 53, one mile north of JT's One-Stop.

He will collect nonperishable food and money donations for the food shelf into the wee hours of the morning.

"We're there 'til the last person leaves," Haskins said.

When he started the annual event, the Solon Springs man had no idea it would last 10 years.

"It's become a community fundraiser, a community get-together," Haskins said. "A lot of people look forward to it every year."

It may be cold outside, he said, but "It gets everybody together for the holidays."

Those who stop by can expect a roaring bonfire, chili and hot dogs. Haskins invited everyone to visit and encouraged them to bring cookies to share.

The amount raised has fluctuated over the years, from a high of $10,200 in 2014 to a little over $1,000 last year.

"Whatever amount it is, it helps out," Haskins said.

For a number of years, matching corporate sponsorships from Haskins' employers helped him raise the bar annually. He is seeking a business interested in matching funds this year.

Anyone driving by can stop by the fire, have some chili and make a difference for Douglas County residents in need.

"Douglas County doesn't end a Moccasin Mike Road," Haskins said.