The Labor Tribune

Labor News From Our Region

Unions pitch in to set up ‘Back 2 School Store’

August 7, 2017 by admin in Labor News From Our Region with 0 Comments

UNION HELPERS – Volunteers from six building trades unions and the Missouri AFL-CIO pitched in recently to help set up the 17th annual “Back 2 School Store” sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, St. Louis Chapter that provided school supplies and clothing to some 1,300 children in need. Volunteers included (from left) Mike Newton (IBEW Local 1), Steve Muehlang (IBEW Local 1), Jake Hummel and son Tim (Missouri AFL-CIO), Dan Neiswander (Carpenters), Ray Schwegmann (Carpenters), Luke Canfora (Missouri AFL-CIO), Jeff Haantz (Carpenters), Sonnyi Costa (Insulators 1), Mark Dalton (Carpenters), Brian Doerr (Carpenters), Tod Hake (Carpenters), Jeremy Snyder (Sheet Metal Workers Local 36), Kevin Haynes (Carpenters), Kellen Rhime (Sheet Metal Workers Local 36), John Hopkin (Bricklayers Local 1), Mark Savage (Bricklayers Local 1), Johnny Walker (Bricklayers Local 1) and Gary Otten (Painters District Council 58). – Labor Tribune photo

National Council of Jewish Women-sponsored program, now in its 17th year, has served 13,000 children



Creve Coeur, MO – Eighteen volunteers from six building trades unions and the Missouri AFL-CIO provided the manpower recently to help the National Council of Jewish Women, St. Louis Chapter (NCJW), ready their annual “Back 2 School Store” that last Sunday provided some 1,500 underserved children with school supplies and clothing to help launch their new school year.

Organized by Missouri AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Jake Hummel, whose wife, St. Louis Alderwoman Sara Martin, is a NCJW volunteer, the union members helped with setting up the store and the more labor-intensive tasks of building dressing rooms for the children to try on clothes, moving and unloading heavy boxes and helping NCJW volunteers organize clothes and school supplies and set up the shopping tables.

Laid out like a department store at Temple Israel in west St. Louis County, the children, aided by an adult volunteer, “shop” for:

• Clothing items: a new school outfit complete with shirt, pants, shoes, package of socks and underwear, winter coat, gloves and hat.

• School items: a backpack filled with school supplies, including new books and a variety of personal care items.

Since the program was launched in 2001, almost 13,000 elementary school children have been served. The names are provided by some 45 social agencies, churches and synagogues. All the clothes and products are brand new, donated by a host of companies with fill-in items purchased throughout the year with donations.


“Our goal is to get kids excited about their first day of school and to help them feel good about themselves. It’s all about the children’s self esteem and helping them successfully start their educational year,” said NCJW Executive Director Ellen Alper.

“We are really pleased to be able to help,” said Hummel. “The manpower we provide to help set up the store is a vital part of getting this great effort off the ground. Thanks to all the union volunteers. They were great at doing the heavy chores, which made a big difference for the effort.

“This is only one of so many examples where our unions throughout the state step up to help a huge number of organizations and charities,” he added. “Giving back is in our union DNA.”


“And we do appreciate their efforts,” Alper added. “The guys are great, not only in the work they do, but the spirit they bring to the effort. We are blessed to have such great unions in St. Louis and throughout Missouri.”

Volunteers turned out from Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1, Insulators Local 1, Bricklayers Local 1, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, Painters District Council 58, the St. Louis-Kansas City Regional Carpenters District Council and the Missouri AFL-CIO.

More than 600 NCJW volunteers worked the store last Sunday. The St. Louis NCJW raises $180,000 to $200,000 annually for the effort. For items that are not donated, they shop throughout the year at various sales times. In addition to corporate and major donations, some 300 individuals sponsor a child with a $180 donation that totally outfits a child.


But the NCJW effort doesn’t stop with this one-day event.

All left-over clothing and supplies not distributed on the Store shopping day are put into 23 public schools in special NCJW-built Kids Community Closets so kids who need them can get clothing and supplies all year long as needed, said NCJW Marketing Manager Stacy Kress.

For more information on how you can help, or to make a donation, go to

Tagged , , ,

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Search by keyword
Recent Posts
  • AFL-CIO elects top officers at 2017 Convention in St. Louis
  • AFL-CIO 28th Constitutional Convention: Welcome to St. Louis
  • Missouri Labor Movement, working Missourians fighting to stop so-called ‘right-to-work’
  • Visit St. Louis! Popular landmarks, attractions & restaurants
  • Missouri Supreme Court sides with unions  – again – over RTW ballot initiative
  • More than 300 union members assisting in disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico
  • Brother-in-law pays aerial tribute to Laclede Gas worker slain while on the job
  • Duckworth asks for details on Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure plan
wordpress visitor counter

505 South Ewing Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103

Ph: 314.535.9660
Fx: 314.531.6131

View Larger Map

Contact us with your comments and news tips!

Your Name:

Your Email Address:

Your Message:

PLEASE NOTE: Depending on your browser settings, the PDF links on this site may automatically download to your computer.