9th annual Back 2 School Store is huge success

Photo Courtesy of NCJW/Essex
At the ninth annual NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store are, from, left Pamela Licht of ‘The Vixens,’ NCJW/Essex Executive Director Cathy Silverman, store Co-chairwoman Jill Sorkin Johnson, and ‘Vixens’ Samantha Cordaro McCoy and Jennifer Hawley.

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section received a generous donation from a local ad-hoc group of the Rotary Club of the Caldwells to support this year’s ninth annual NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store, which took place on Sunday, July 30.

The group of three local women, who call themselves “The Vixens,” are focused on raising funds and awareness for hyperlocal causes to help women and children in the West Essex area. Their efforts raised $2,500 in conjunction with the Rotary Club of the Caldwells to benefit this year’s Back 2 School Store.

The NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store is held each year and provides an opportunity for disadvantaged children in elementary school to “shop” cost-free in a one-day pop-up store full of brand new clothes and school supplies donated by NCJW/Essex and its sponsoring partners. Each child is escorted by a volunteer “personal shopper” through the store to pick out his or her own new backpack with school supplies, and a new outfit complete with a winter coat, pants, shirt, sneakers, undergarments, and winter hats and gloves. Since 2009 and including this year, the Back 2 School Store has benefitted nearly 4,700 children and utilized more than 3,200 volunteers who were involved in planning, organizing and working at the store on the day of the event.

“We chose the Back 2 School Store as our focus this year because we recognized that there were many children in need, right in our own backyards,” said Samantha Cordaro McCoy, West Caldwell library director and one of The Vixens. “We heard a presentation about the project and knew we had to do something. We all had fond memories of the beginning of school and the shopping that went along with it and we wanted to make that possible for local children who are economically disadvantaged.”

“On behalf of NCJW/Essex, we want to thank The Vixens for their generous donation,” NCJW/Essex President Shari Harrison said. “We are so grateful to have such incredible sponsors to contribute to a cause so close to our hearts. Without them, none of this would be possible.”