DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- When the holidays are near, there's nothing quite like coming together with friends and family for a holiday project.
One of the holiday jars that Opening Doors is selling
That's exactly what the women and children of the Opening Doors shelters did on Tuesday, December 5.
Candace Boots was part of the assembly line to create "Just Like Home Cookies and Cocoa Jars."
"I get the task of putting the lids on the jars," Boots said.
They're selling the jars to raise money for the Maria House and Teresa Shelter, which Opening Doors operates.
Boots says the Maria House was there for her when she was starting over.
"When I first got there, I didn't have anything. I didn't have food in my cupboard, I didn't have laundry soap to wash my clothes," she said.
Boots and her two of her children have been living at the Maria House for over a year, and they've helped her get her life on track.
Boots said, "when I first went to the Maria House, my kids were in foster care. So they helped me get my kids back. I’m working, got a full-time job now, been in school, looking for my own place now."
Sharing her story, Boots hopes the community will lend their support in their fundraiser.
"If fundraisers like this weren't possible and people didn't buy these to keep the Maria House open, I would hate to see what would happen to all the people in the community that benefit from the Maria House and the Teresa Shelter," she said.
The jar-filling has become something the women, and their kids, look forward to each December.
"I'm helping people that need it," Brooklyn Boots, daughter of Candace Boots, said about helping fill the jars.
Each holiday jar has a special tag with a Brooklyn original.
"I made a little cookie with a bite out of it for the cookie jar," she said.
Cookies and cocoa: the best way give back this holiday season.
People can learn more about the jars and how to order by going to the
They're taking orders until December 13.