This year, with the encouragement of the Executive Director of the Dana Brown Charitable Trust, Assistance League of St. Louis (ALSTL) and the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) submitted a collaborative grant request to the foundation. The grant was approved, and each agency received $20,000 to stock closets in the St. Louis Public Schools.

Since 2018 the two organizations have partnered to provide children year-round access to much-needed school clothing, shoes, coats and hygiene products. These items are available in closets in 28 schools in the district, 12 of which the two organizations share.

Pictured left to right: Kellie Vaca, Shaw VPA Elementary School SLPS; Karen Silverman, NCJWSTL; Denise McKibben, ALSTL; and Renee Sigel-Hearst, NCJWSTL

The closets are an integral part of ALSTL’s Operation School Bell program, which last year helped ensure student success across five area school districts by distributing items in 44 schools and supporting 36 AL’s closets.

Assistance League president Denise McKibben said, “We are very grateful for this generous support from the Dana Brown Charitable Trust to fund our collaboration. By working with NCJW, we avoid duplicating efforts and help ensure we reach as many children as possible. Assistance League of St. Louis continuously seeks ways to partner with other community organizations to increase our impact.”