For the past 11 years, the annual NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store (B2SS) has enabled Essex County children in financial need to “shop” for free clothing, sneakers, school supplies and personal care items in a one-day-only “store” set up just for them in the Livingston, NJ area. With the assistance of NCJW/Essex volunteer personal shoppers, each child was escorted through the department store-like space to select pants, shirts, sneakers, hats, gloves, socks, undergarments, a winter coat and a backpack in their favorite colors and styles. Each child also received school supplies and books as well as personal care items. All of the merchandise was brand new and purchased by NCJW/Essex through philanthropic and sponsorship dollars. This helped enable the children to have positive self-esteem and enthusiasm to have a successful school year.
In addition, while the children shopped, the Gaelen Family Resource Center gave parents and caregivers the opportunity to learn about healthcare, career and educational opportunities, to participate in free health screenings and to gather information about other community resources. Click here for photos from the 2019 B2SS.
Due to current public health concerns, unfortunately we cannot have a traditional B2SS this year. Yet, the 800+ children we serve need clothing and school supplies more than ever! We at NCJW/Essex are transforming the Back 2 School Store and introducing the first-ever NCJW/Essex Mobile Back to School Store! This will enable us to continue to serve the children and families in our community who have been among the hardest hit during these difficult times.
We need your help in order to make sure local children get to start the school year right! Please consider increasing your gift this year, given the extraordinary need in our community. Click here to donate.