SUDBURY -- Ever since she was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, Jan-Andrea Day of Sudbury has been giving back as much as she can.

For the past three years at Christmas, she has been making and collecting shoeboxes filled with essential items and donating them to the Off The Street Shelter.

She said she been given an amazing gift - the gift of time - and wants to give back to as many organizations and groups while she can. So far, she has more than 40 boxes completed and ready to be donated.

“It’s been a really wonderful thing to share with my family, and my children,” said Day. “We are all brothers and sisters. Nobody is more important than the other. So this is just identifying those who have been forgotten.”

Her plan is to have all the boxes wrapped and ready to be donated to the shelter by the last week of December.

Now she is reaching out to local businesses and families to put together a box with items like bathroom supplies, hats and mitts, notebooks, and pens and pencils.

'It really makes you feel good'

“The people who have donated so far, they’ve been really happy to be a part of it,” said Day. “Having that box completed on your own, from the beginning, it really makes you feel good … It’s kind of nice to share that feeling.”

As homelessness continues to be a major concern for many in Sudbury, Off The Street Shelter staff told CTV News the donations come at the perfect time.

“Homelessness has always been an issue, I think it's just a bit more apparent now because the streets are quiet,” said shelter coordinator Pamela Lamarche.

“Somebody taking the time to give gifts to those that might have been dismissed or forgotten about, that’s a bigger message than the items in the box.”

The Off The Street Shelter can accommodate 35 people a night. Lamarche said that each night the shelter is at capacity, and with the cold weather arriving, she expecting demand will continue.

“There are a lot of people who are coming to the shelter and unfortunately, because of the high numbers we have had to turn people away,” she said. “The boxes are just another way to compliment the care that people really deserve.”

As for Day, her goal is to have 100 wrapped boxes ready to be donated by the last week of December. The Off The Street Shelter will then give the shoeboxes to clients on Christmas Eve.