CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of suburban residents wandered the streets of Chicago Saturday on a mission: make life a little brighter for the homeless.

What started as a Christmas tradition for Pam Howard and her family has turned into a monthly tradition.

“We’ve been doing this for about 10 years now, so we know some of these people,” Howard said. “Fortunately, it’s fun to see them. Unfortunately, they’re still homeless.”

Howard and a group of friends, family and fellow church members take the train into the city from Plano and get to work. They walk through the city, carrying bags full of supplies, and look out for homeless people.

“We just really love doing this. We bring them things — we have socks, hygiene kits, sweatshirts, sandwiches and blankets.”

The group doesn’t just hand out food and clothes: they also stop and talk with the homeless, before hugging them goodbye.

“They’re real people,” Howard said. “They’re just down on their luck or something. They have personalities, they have a lot to give. They’re just not things in the way on the street.”

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