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INDIANAPOLIS — An IUPUI student is going above and beyond this holiday season to help women and children in need. 

Christmas came early at the Salvation Army’s Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center. 

“It’s a huge blessing for the women and children who receive these bags,” said Director Pamela Fleck.

‘Operation Blessing Bags’ provides residents with toiletries, blankets, toys and more. 

This year—it was all made possible by IUPUI sophomore Derek Mount. 

“There are people who have nothing and that’s a reality check,” Mount said.

Mount was inspired to raise money for the blessing bags after going through a difficult year brought on by the pandemic. He rallied fellow students and friends to help out– raising enough money to fill 200 bags.  

Flick says many of the women and children at the shelter arrive with nothing, but now, they have something to call their own. 

“They were so excited, and the parents were so excited because there’s not just things for the kids to do, it’s things they need,” said Stephanie Pate, a Family Advocate at the shelter. “They come in here with nothing.”

Right now—the women’s shelter is at full capacity. Flick says the need for donations is great and Mount’s donations came at the perfect time. 

To learn more about how to donate, click here.