Hundreds Of Needy Students Receive Free Items For Upcoming School Year
WEST ORANGE (July 31, 2017) – Excitement was in the air Sunday as children from throughout Essex County got paired up with personal shoppers to help them navigate the Back 2 School Store, a one-day pop-up “department store” that provided new clothing, shoes and school supplies to children identified by local social service agencies, including New Community Corporation, as being in need.
Nearly 800 economically disadvantaged Essex County students went on a shopping spree where they received brand new items for free, including Victoria and Elijah Oluwatodimu who live at New Community Harmony House, a transitional housing facility for homeless families in Newark.
Victoria, 8, enjoyed shopping. Among the items in her bag were a pink coat (her favorite color), shoes and a backpack.
“My favorite thing I got today is my clothes,” she said.
Elijah, 6, didn’t have one favorite item. “My jacket and my book bag. And my shoes,” he said when asked what he liked best in his bag.
Children also received personal care items like toothbrushes, hair brushes and lip balm; school supplies like pens, pencils and tape; and winter wear including hats and gloves.
Mom Oluremi said it was the first time her family participated in the event, organized by the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex).
“I’m so happy,” said the mother of four. “It really saved me money.”
Oluremi participated in the services available for parents while her children shopped. She took an eye test and got her blood pressure and blood sugar checked.
Members of the Bloomfield Police Department were also on hand to fingerprint children.
This was the ninth year for the Back 2 School Store, which was held at B’nai Shalom in West Orange. All the items provided to the children were bought new with donations NCJW/Essex received. Five hundred volunteers gave their time for the event, which ran from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
About New Community Corporation
New Community Corporation (www.newcommunity.org) was founded in 1968 in Newark, N.J., by Monsignor William J. Linder and a small group of community residents during a time of civil unrest that was spreading throughout urban communities across the United States. It has grown to become one of the largest and most comprehensive community development organizations in the country, providing services ranging from housing and health care to education and banking services. New Community Corporation’s mission is to “help residents of inner cities improve the quality of their lives to reflect individual God-given dignity and personal achievement.” Included in the network is more than 2,000 units of housing for families and seniors, a Workforce Development Center, a 180-bed capacity nursing home called the Extended Care Center; a One Stop Family Resources Success Center; a transitional housing facility for the homeless called Harmony House, Adult Learning Center, a federally insured Federal Credit Union, two early learning centers and after school, recreational and summer camp programs for youth.
About National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. With more than 3,200 members, Essex County Section is the largest of the more than 100 NCJW Sections around the country. The Section was founded in 1912 and maintains offices in Livingston, N.J. For more information, log on to www.ncjwessex.org.
Photos from the event: