Around 650 children went “shopping” at the sixth annual Back 2 School Store hosted by National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section, on Aug. 3 at B’nai Shalom in West Orange.
As in previous years, the children, from kindergarten through fifth grade, were able choose brand-new backpacks, school supplies, clothes, and personal care items in a department store-like setting created just for them. The one big difference from a real store: Everything was free. The youngsters and their parents were assisted by 375 volunteers.
Since its inception in 2009, the B2SS has benefited nearly 3,000 children, with the help of over 1,800 volunteers.
Karen Cherins, immediate past president of NCJW/Essex, and B2SS chair Ellen Legow opened the event. In addition to the backpack and items to go in it, the children could pick out a full outfit, complete with a winter coat, sneakers, pants, shirt, undergarments, socks, winter hats, and gloves.
This year’s corporate sponsors included Eastern Dental, ShopRite of Brookdale in Bloomfield, the soon-to-be-opened ShopRite of Newark on Springfield Avenue, Janssen Supply Group, CarePoint Health, and Tradeweb Markets LLC, along with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the TJX Foundation.
While the children were “shopping,” parents and guardians visited the Gaelen Family Resource Center, where they could have blood pressure screenings, glucose tolerance testing, eye exams, and learn about proper dental care for children.
For more information about the Back 2 School Store, visit ncjwessex.org.