A Simon Fraser University student’s plan of giving back to the community on Christmas Day—a goal she says has been years in the making—finally came into fruition this year.

Amel Jahanmiri, a fourth-year criminology major, spent Christmas Day with friends, distributing packages of clothes and other necessities to needy families, homeless shelters and Covenant House.

Jahanmiri says she has been collecting donated items from friends and family since the beginning of December. The items were then carefully sorted and packaged, and delivered in a donated truck to various locations.

When asked why she was doing this, Jahanmiri’s answer was: “Why not?”

“Every year I try to go to sleep in the middle of winter and I’m freezing, and I’m under a roof, and I have a heater, and I have a blanket,” she said. “And I wonder how many people are actually really cold and have nothing.”

Jahanmiri, who is not connected to any charity organizations, says she has wanted to give back for years, but her busy schedule has always been prohibitive. But this year, she felt it was time.

“We as a people, we as a community, take everything for granted,” she said. “We all have stuff in our closets we don’t need, that we can donate and it takes 10 minutes, 20 minutes to go through it, and for someone to put it together. So I decided to be that someone this year.”

In total, Jahanmiri packed 25 personal boxes for families in need and 210 bags of clothes. She also had 15 boxes of items such as toys.

Organizing everything was a daunting and tiring task, but Jahanmiri says it is worth it.

“It was a process and a half, and it took a long time, and it was draining at some point, but it’ll pay off today just to see the smiles,” she said.

With files from CTV British Columbia’s Scott Hurst