This Chanukah was “full of light” for the sixth graders at the Bais Yaakov Academy of Queens, not only with the light of the menorah, but the light that comes from bringing joy to others who are less fortunate. BYQ’s Heart2Heart Shabbos Kit project, a chesed project program now in its fourth year, had sixth graders craft special Chanukah-themed Shabbos kits that were distributed at North Shore University Hospital for those who needed to spend this special time away from home.

The girls carefully decorated challah covers both with elaborate Shabbos and Chanukah pictures. They put effort into their artwork to make sure it truly brightened the recipients’ Shabbos tables! The girls used Chanukah stickers to decorate Shabbos candles. They included a dreidel and the rules for playing. Finally, to top off a beautiful package, each girl added a heartwarming message of cheer and good wishes inside the colorfully decorated Shabbos kit.

The girls showed their maturity and understanding of the importance of this special mitzvah. Some girls commented that they personally know people who benefited from these Shabbos packages in the past, which brought special meaning to their project. They knew their efforts brought light and joy to other Jews. One sixth grader expressed her feelings about putting together the Shabbos kits: “It doesn’t only benefit other people, it benefits us. We’re proud of ourselves that we did a mitzvah.” May the girls continue to brighten the lives of those around them, and find the joy in helping others for many, many years to come!