CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - U of I students like Thair Al-Saqri said this holiday season, they just wanted to give back.

"I was really trying to figure out a way to really get back in the most during these unprecedented times and thankfully we saw so many smiles on people's faces today and it really made my day. It's the holiday season, not everyone has a roof over their head," Al-Saqri tells WAND News!

In less than a month, Al-Saqri and other students collected 50 blankets, over 100 shirts, pants, coats and other warm winter clothes, all because of donations from the University of Illinois community. "When I saw how much people are willing to give back, it's kind of amazing. It's really eye-opening. I love giving back, especially in my own community."

They raised over $700 to buy non-perishable food, such as canned goods and snack bars. One volunteer said she just wants to make sure people have meals to sustain themselves.

"A lot of people don't have homes to go home to, like warm, fresh meals, and I think just being able to give back to this community and like any way that we can is really something that's important," said U of I student Brianna Burns.

Al-Saqri said giving back to his community is something he loves to do. He mentions the smile he sees on the faces of people when they pass by the food and clothing drive. He said the smile is what makes his day.

"It really brings a smile to your face and makes you feel like you've actually done something, because I felt like we really needed a little light and everything that's going on," Al-Saqri said. 

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