NCJW/Essex 12th Annual Back 2 School Store Goes Mobile for 2020

NCJW/Essex Holds 12th Annual Back 2 School Store Providing Winter Coats and Clothing to 1,700 Essex County Children in Need

NCJW/Essex’s 12th annual and first-ever Mobile Back 2 School Store (B2SS) has completed its distribution of backpacks, school supplies, winter coats, warm clothing, and more for the 2020 season.

More than 1,700 children were served by this year’s B2SS, the most-ever in the store’s history.

“It means so much to all of the donors, sponsors, and volunteers who make the Back 2 School Store happen that we were able to serve the children and families who rely on us, and that we did not let the pandemic keep us from making sure this important endeavor was completed,” said Penina Barr, NCJW/Essex President.

While in prior years children were able to “shop” at the one-day pop-up B2SS, this year volunteers put together personalized outfits based on the children’s preferences which were submitted and included favorite colors and other style requests.

Volunteers worked for several days to create personalized bags for 1,000 children in need in Essex County, which were delivered to more than 40 agencies, schools, and other organizations for distribution to the kids.

“We owe a big thank you to Two Men and a Truck who delivered the items from our storage unit to our distribution center at Temple Beth Shalom, and to Essex County Community Transportation who provided vans and amazing drivers who made our deliveries possible,” shared the B2SS Committee Chairs, Lauren Tabak Fass, Rachel Khedouri, and Lori Gelman.

“The store was reimagined this year, but it got the items kids needed to the families we serve, and that’s what really matters,” said Caitlin Higgins Joy, NCJW/Essex Executive Director, adding, “it’s amazing what can be accomplished when NCJW/Essex members join together to better the lives of children in our community.”

NCJW/Essex is already working on the 2021 B2SS. If you would like to learn more about volunteering as part of this imitative, please contact Ellen Staple at

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