It’s almost time for the start of the school year. For hundreds of children in Stamford, it’s an annual experience they couldn’t enjoy without the help of the nonprofit, Back to School Shop.
Stamford co-founders and residents Jane Levene and Meryl Japha launched the organization in 2015. Their eighth annual event was held all day Sunday inside Davenport Ridge Elementary School. School social workers have identified 400 children who they believe would benefit greatly from this one-stop shop with backpacks, books, school supplies, socks, underwear and even a winter coat and hat.
“Everything is bought new. There is nothing here that is used. The beacons are still on,” Levene said.
Fourth grader Kendra Lopez and her siblings were thrilled as they walked through the gymnasium-turned-department store without their parent.
Levene said: ‘We are asking parents to wait and the child can leave with a personal shopper to help them get to their size. They will try them on in a fitting room.
“I like the helpers here. They’re really nice,” Kendra said. Her personal shopper, Lisa Rich, says the feeling is mutual.
“Every stop we make, from socks to sneakers to books – it’s just a big smile on his face,” Rich said.
Volunteers say the excitement doesn’t stop when the shopping is done. Watching the kids approach their parents with their new clothes and school supplies is priceless.
Kendra was a bit shy in front of the News 12 cameras, but her mom showed great appreciation: “Amazing. I love it. It’s the best thing that can happen. »
Back to School Shop has helped more than 2,000 children since 2015. The co-founders say donors and 1,000 community volunteers have been extremely generous.