photo credit Neil Katz

Last month, the National Council of Jewish Women’s (NCJW) St. Louis Section helped more than 1,000 local, underserved children gear up for the upcoming school year by outfitting them with new clothing and school supplies at its12th annual Back 2 School Store event. Over the weekend, the NCJW Essex County Section, the organization’s largest section, did the same for 500 children in its area.

The Back 2 School Store began in 1993 in Green Bay, Wisc., sponsored by the Service League of Green Bay. In August 2001, NCJW brought the Back 2 School Store to St. Louis, inaugurating this annual event by providing 200 children in the St. Louis area with new clothing, shoes, and school supplies. In its first 10 years, the Back 2 School Store in St. Louis has assisted over 6,000 elementary school children from low-income families in the St. Louis area. This weekend marks the fourth year NCJW has provided the program for children in Essex, N.J.

Other NCJW sections around the country offer variations of this program, including Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Detroit and Cleveland.

Back 2 School Store programs are funded through a combination of grants, in-kind donations and sponsor a child campaigns run by local NCJW sections.