The Back to School! Store is an annual one-day event that provides underserved elementary school children throughout the St. Louis Greater Metropolitan area with the supplies and other essentials they need to start the school year with confidence and self-esteem. Since the first Back to School! Store in 2001, NCJWSTL has served more than 25,000 children in our community through this program.

Who Do We Help?

NCJWSTL partners with 70+ local social service agencies, churches, synagogues, and community service organizations that refer and register 2,000 qualifying children entering kindergarten through 5th grade to participate in the BTSS.

To participate in the BTSS, parents/students must be referred by a partner agency. The agencies select children whose school supply needs are not being met by other social service agencies; 100% of the BTSS families and children participating receive food assistance.

How Do We Help?

Participating children receive a brand-new backpack, school supplies, books, personal care items, a coat, hat & gloves and other essentials they need to start and attend school with confidence.

The brand-new items provided at the BTSS are either in-kind donations or purchased through the generosity of our donors, sponsors, and grantors.

NCJWSTL volunteers plan and implement the Back to School! Store ensuring that every child receives their back-to-school items whether through our traditional in-person store or through a Contactless Back to School Store! Delivery Event that was put in place in 2020 in response to the pandemic.

NCJWSTL provides community resources and information to families either through the Family Resource Room or the Family Resource Guide which is updated annually.

What Is Our Impact?

Since the first Back to School! Store in 2001, NCJWSTL’s BTSS has served more than 25,000 children in our community. By providing the essential supplies, NCJWSTL alleviates the financial burden families face as they prepare to send their children to school. The lack of supplies and personal items is a primary barrier to attending school; the BTSS addresses this barrier by providing required supplies. Additionally, the confidence boost from being prepared for school instills a joy of learning in students.

Do you remember how it felt to get your backpack ready for the first day of school? That joy and confidence is hard to forget, and that’s the feeling students walk away with from the Back to School! Store. Help continue the impact of the Back to School! Store by volunteering or donating today!

This year I found myself out-of-work and on the receiving end of your generosity, and I cannot tell you how much this means to my family. … I was truly worried about how we were going to provide coats for our grandchildren. Now you have taken that worry away.”

Back to School! Store grandparent

    More about the Back to School! Store

    To learn more about the Back to School! Store contact Renee Sigel-Hearst at or call the office at 314.993.5181.

    To learn more about the Back to School! Store contact Marci Ranger:
    (314) 993.5181
    It costs more than $250,000 per year to run the Back to School! Store and Kids Community Closet, and we could not do it without our generous sponsors and donors!
    Support the Back to School! StoreMake a Donation Today