Last year, more than 25 volunteers helped outfit 45 school-aged children living in shelters and transitional housing. The children and their families were thrilled to receive new clothes for school, and to have the “back to school” shopping experience. The response to last year’s event from the children and volunteers was so terrific that we’ve decided to do it again.

Ilene Monahan, Jackie Gershman, Sue Rosenthal and Melanie Levitan setting up the store

Ilene Monahan, Jackie Gershman, Sue Rosenthal and Melanie Levitan setting up the store

Our Back 2 School Store will take place on Sunday, Aug. 18. Adath Shalom, at 841 Mountain Way, in Morris Plains, is excited to provide the space for our “store.

NCJW, West Morris is expecting to outfit approximately 50 children, ages 4 to 17. The younger children, kindergarten through middle school, will have the shopping experience at the “store” we set up specifically for them. The older students will receive gift cards and are thrilled to shop for their new school clothing at retail stores. The goal is to assist these children to start their school year with confidence and enthusiasm.

Volunteers–both women and men–are needed as “personal shoppers” to help the younger children try on clothes and choose appropriate sizes. Each child shops for a complete new outfit, including shirts, pants, sweatshirts, underwear, socks, a hat and gloves. Volunteers have a terrific time and the schoolchildren all leave with a full shopping bag and a smile. (All children, including the younger ones, receive a gift card for retail shopping with their parent to purchase a new pair of shoes.) 

Additional volunteers are needed to help with store setup a few days ahead of time, and breakdown after the event, as well as other tasks during the event. Watch your email for specific times and volunteer opportunities.

Donations of back-to-school items from individuals and retailers throughout the area help fill our shelves with new clothes and other supplies to prepare these students for the upcoming school year.

To volunteer for this exciting project, or to sponsor a child, email

The exciting project is being coordinated by Melanie Levitan, Karen Secular, Kim Ganz and Kay Salzman.