The National Council of Jewish Women in St. Louis will stage its annual Back to School! Store on Sunday, July 19.
Since NCJW started the Back to School! Store 20 years ago, the program has served more than 20,000 local students.
“We remain deeply concerned about the challenges families in our community are facing,” said Ellen Alper, CEO of NCJW-STL. “We know from experience with Back to School! Store that lives are positively changed. School social workers report reduced absenteeism and increased attendance when students feel confident about themselves and are equipped with the materials needed to be successful in school.”
This year, to follow Centers for Disease Control, guidelines, the organization has made changes to the Back to School! Store.
Traditionally an in-person experience, the organization will instead provide socially-distanced and contactless delivery with 100 volunteers distributing boxes of pre-filled backpacks to 65 partner agencies, who will distribute the backpacks to their clients and members.
Backpacks will be filled with school supplies, personal care items and activities to help keep children engaged in learning. Winter coats, shoes and apparel will be distributed throughout the year as additional safe distribution methods are identified and deployed.
Community members and supporters of the store are encouraged to support the effort by making a donation or sponsoring a child for the event.
To find how to help, visit: www.ncjwstl.org/back-to-school-store.