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Fake Craigslist ad promising Thanksgiving turkeys turns into an opportunity to give back

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A group of friends from Iowa started a movement to feed local families this Thanksgiving after someone posted a fake Craigslist ad with one of their phone numbers.

Austin Hermsen told our affiliate KGAN News that someone created an ad on Craigslist using his phone number claiming he was giving away free turkeys to the first 30 families who called the number.

Hermsen said he received an overwhelming response to the ad, which he never created.

After his friends saw the post, they decided to step in and help.

That's when #OperationGiveBirds was born.

"That's where we kind of came in and said, lets help them out, and help anybody out we can," said Nick Dusil, #OperationGiveBirds organizer.

The friends spent the last week loading and prepping 80 Thanksgiving meals to give to families who reached out because of the ad.

"It was great to see, our friends and our community come together and help people," said Dusil.

They posted their idea on Facebook, asking friends and families to make donations on Pay Pal and send food.

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They raised over $1,300 dollars to feed families, which is helping them give more than just turkeys to the cause.

"Because we raised so much money we're giving them green beans, cream of mushroom soup, corn, potatoes and stuffing," said Dusil. "They'll basically have a whole Thanksgiving meal that they can prepare for themselves."

Dusil said they received hundreds of calls from families asking for a meal, which is more than they will be able to provide.

"Unfortunately, since it was kind of thrown together the last four or five days, that we weren't able to help as many people as we like," said Dusil.

However, they plan on making this into a yearly tradition.

"As we go forward we're hoping to help more people every year and not turn anybody away," he said.

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