Day campers lend hand for upcoming Back-To-School Store

Campers from the West County  Day School formed a ‘coat chain’ to load donated apparel into a van in preparation for the NCJW Back-to-School-Store, which takes place Sunday, July 22.

On July 12, a dozen Back-To-School! Store volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women — St. Louis Section (NCJW) were joined by 25 campers from West County Day School Camp in the hopes of doing something wonderful for the community.   Forming a human “coat chain,” this band of helpers brought hundreds of coats from storage in a volunteer’s basement, up the stairs, out the front door and into a truck donated by local realtor, Laura MacDonald.

The new coats are on the way to the Back-To-School! Store, NCJW’s largest community service project providing more than 1,000 local school children ages 5-10 from pre-qualified low-income families with brand new clothing and school supplies in preparation for the upcoming school year. Over 40 community agencies and more than 500 volunteers will carry out NCJW’s one-day community service project, which has helped more than 9,500 children in elementary school since it started in 2001.

“These kids donated their time, muscle and energy to help local children they’ve never even met get a new coat for school,” NJCW President, Marlene Hammerman, said. “Although we talked to them about philanthropy, these kids understood that they are part of a project that helps local kids who don’t have the money for school supplies, coats and clothes…And they were enthusiastic to help!”  

Back-To-School! Store PR Chair, Amy Fenster Brown, adds, “What makes the project successful is that the entire community takes ownership by pitching in.”

More than $100,000 is needed to run the Back-to-School Store and NCJW invites the community to be a part of it by visiting online at A child sponsorship donation of $180 provides a youngster with school clothing and supplies to begin the school year ready to learn.   

For more information, contact the local NCJW office at 314-993-5181.