HACKENSACK, NJ – After a mild winter that left the Hackensack Public School District with unused snow days, students were given off the Friday before Memorial Day.

It’s also presented an opportunity for local youngsters to give back to those who are less fortunate, thanks to an initiative organized by Chabad of Hackensack.

On Friday, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. students will gather at CareOne at Wellington to pack lunches and decorate cards for the homeless and people in need. The program is open to students who in grades five through 10. 

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Rabbi Mendy Kaminker said the “Kindness Hour” effort “aims to change a day off into a day of giving to others.”

“Hackensack’s schools emphasize the importance of empathy and kindness to others. This is a chance for students to put those values to practice,” Kaminker said.

According to Kaminker, about 50 children have registered so far. 

The effort comes after the Hackensack City Council issued a proclamation designating April 16 as “Educating & Sharing Day” and encouraged residents to connect with young people on initiatives to help others.

“Kindness Hour”  is a joint effort by Chabad of Hackensack, Deputy Mayor David Sims, the Hackensack Board of Education and CareOne at Wellington. 

For more information or to register for Friday’s program, visit KindnessHour.com