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Member says Minneapolis MAD DADS founder battling COVID-19, pneumonia

Community advocate VJ Smith is fighting virus at home.

MINNEAPOLIS — Wallace White has worked with MAD DADS for almost four years. 

"It's been a real good experience," White said.

Patrolling the streets across Minneapolis today is no different, as members of the organization help out at the Salvation Army downtown.

"Awhile back there were problems with drugs, gambling and people sitting in here drinking, and we were asked to help to come down and move that out," White said.

While this group is known for assisting others and fighting crime across the streets, White says the President of MAD DADS, VJ Smith, is fighting another battle -- COVID-19.

"Right now he is dealing with COVID-19 and he has double pneumonia, so the whole team is rooting for him," White said.

MAD DADS National was founded in 1989 by a group of concerned parents fed up with gang violence and drugs in Omaha, Nebraska. Smith started the Minneapolis chapter in 1998, working to create safer neighborhoods. An effort that is still ongoing.

"We try to do everything needed in the community to spark a positive change," White said.

White said the group is continuing to hit the streets, while wishing Smith a swift recovery so he can continue being a force for change. "MAD DADS here, we are going to stay here, and VJ is going to come back and it's going to be better than ever," says White.

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