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

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (WSVN) — A man turned a prank into an opportunity to help his Iowa community.

Austin Hermsen said someone put his phone number on a fake Craigslist ad that promised he would be giving away 30 turkeys to families who called the number.

Hermsen said it broke his heart to hear how many people actually needed a turkey.

He and his friends rallied together and raised more than $1,400 to buy full Thanksgiving meals for 80 needy families.

“I have three kids at home and I really have no money to get anything for Thanksgiving. So I thought, well maybe, I’ll be one of the families,” said Tabatha Spearman who received a Thanksgiving meal.

They now plan on making “Operation Give Birds” a yearly tradition.

Hermsen said he now knows who created the fake Craigslist ad and that that person has since donated a turkey to help with the cause.

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