Volunteers assemble 2,800 new backpacks for local kids in need
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Volunteers assemble 2,800 new backpacks for local kids in need

Sophie Conen of Demarest, right, holding an orange backpack, and friends.
Sophie Conen of Demarest, right, holding an orange backpack, and friends.

This month, hundreds of volunteers of all ages helped to assemble 2,800 new backpacks with school supplies for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.  About 20 community partners and local schools in Bergen, Passaic, and Hudson counties will receive the backpacks, which they will distribute to students for the coming school year. This year the JFNNJ is sending more backpacks than it ever has before.

“Federation has always taken great pride in Supplies for Success,” the group’s CEO, Jason M. Shames, said. “This year, the need was particularly great, and with support from our funders and volunteers we are providing 2,800 students with new backpacks – that’s an increase of 1,000 from the prior year.”

UNITS of Northern NJ, a locally owned moving and portable storage company, provided the federation with four storage containers. “When we heard about this education-focused initiative for financially disadvantaged students, we were eager to help,” UNITS’ president, Matthew Coolidge, said. “We are happy to be supporting Jewish Federation’s important work with students in our community.” Staples in Paramus also gave more than 80 assorted school supplies. 

Micah and Deborah Liben of Teaneck and their family

“Every child deserves to start the school year with a formula for success and that includes new school supplies,” Shara Nadler, the manager of the federation’s volunteer center, said.  “Knowing we are helping so many kids start their school year with the tools needed for success is very meaningful and seeing the number of volunteers stepping up to help is inspiring. We will continue to keep our ears to the ground, listen to community partners, and help address any other pressing needs that emerge.”

The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is dedicated to preserving, fostering, and securing a vibrant local Jewish community for today and beyond.  In our community, it provides the leadership, vision, guidance, and resources necessary to help those in need.  Working collaboratively with donors, volunteers, and other Jewish organizations, we are transforming lives together.  

For more information, go to jfnnj.org/supplies.

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