NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store Celebrates 6th Anniversary Benefitting More Than 2,300 Disadvantaged Children Since 2009

LIVINGSTON, NJ, August 3, 2014– The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) proudly celebrates its 6th Annual Back 2 School Store (B2SS) today, Sunday, August 3, 2014 at B’nai Shalom in West Orange.  Since its inception in 2009, B2SS has benefitted more than 2,300 children and utilized over 1,800 volunteers. This year, we will be serving 600 children with the aid of 375 volunteers.  The children, from kindergarten through fifth grade, are able to “shop” cost-free for an array of brand new school supplies, clothes, and personal care items in a department-store-type setting set up just for them.

The Back 2 School Store is a one-day event from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, set up to appear as a department store in a 4,000 square-foot space donated by B’Nai Shalom. All of the clothes and supplies have been donated by local individuals, families, and businesses; in addition, NCJW volunteers shopped for brand-new clothes and supplies throughout the year in major retail stores. With the assistance of NCJW volunteer “personal shoppers,” each child is escorted throughout the store to select and try on clothing to create an entire new outfit including a shirt, pants, sneakers, socks, underwear, winter jacket, hat and gloves.  Volunteers also act as shoe fitters, staff private fitting rooms and restock inventory. In addition to the clothes, children are given a new backpack which they fill with school supplies and personal care items. The children have been identified by over 35 local social service agencies as needing additional financial support.

While the children are shopping, parents and caregivers will visit the on-site Gaelen Family Resource Center where they can take advantage of health screenings, pick up information about healthcare and community resources, and learn about career and educational opportunities. Services and information offered include blood pressure screenings, glucose tolerance testing, eye exams and proper dental care for children.

For more information about the Back 2 School Store, please visit the NCJW/Essex website, www.ncjwessex.org.

Director of Communications