Women create gift bags for homeless mothers this Mother's Day

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) -- A group of women are coming together to make homeless mothers feel special this Mother's Day.

Operation Mother's Day was started by Elizabeth Fleming. She says she volunteers with Opening Doors, which operates the Theresa Shelter and Maria House in Dubuque, Iowa. She says she knows the shelters are always asking for gift cards and other donations, so she decided to make the women feel special this holiday with gift bags.

With the idea in mind, the Iowa woman reached out to her friends on Facebook for help.

Fleming says she originally hoped for a few items to put in each gift bag, but was overwhelmed with the response she got.

She said, "It was insane for people to kind of reach out, some people that I've never even met in my life," she said. "I wasn't expecting the reaction that I got; I expected a few people to help out. There's so many people with ginormous hearts that really wanted to participate in this."

Fleming said around 40 women helped out by donating money, gift cards, their time or homemade items.

Fleming and four other women met at Inspire Cafe on Saturday to put the 35 gift bags together.

Each gift bag includes a rose donated from Butt's Florist, a gift card, Dove chocolates, a homemade sugar scrub, a gift certificate for a professional mother-child photo shoot and a gift certificate for a free manicure.