Kearny uniform exchange expanding in 2024

The Kearny Public Schools’ Uniform Exchange, a non-profit formed in 2022, has launched its 2024 collection and distribution season.

Founded by a mother of three during a health crisis, the organization has become a cornerstone for families in need, ensuring every child has the essential uniforms and educational resources to succeed.

In its inaugural year, more than 600 children received uniforms, providing them with 37 backpacks filled with school supplies. By 2023, more than 900 children received uniforms, with 332 backpacks and 300 Chromebook earbuds to local education cohorts. This year, the group aims to deepen its impact with a robust schedule of events and enhanced community engagement.

Key Events for 2024

Collection season kickoff: Starting in June, collection bins will be available at partner locations, Super Laundromat Centers, for both uniforms and school supplies.

Raffle Fundraiser: A town-wide raffle in July will offer exciting prizes, including a family pass to Alstede Farms, theme park tickets, an official New York Giants football autographed by Andrew Tomas with certificate of authenticity, and much more. Proceeds will support our Laundry Workers’ Tip Fund and distribution events.

Distribution Events: Scheduled for August, with separate days dedicated to different school grades at Arlington Depot Park. A new priority pass pre-registration option is available for a smoother experience.

Expanded board

The expansion of our board brings four new members, joining the existing leadership team, including Jennifer L. Franzese-Paz, president; Victoria Cordoba, vice president; Lillian Novoa, treasurer; Barbara Rivera, secretary; Jessica Kingalahua, director of security and loss prevention and Tany Paz, director of on-site operations.

How to get involved

Registration is required for all KNJPS Uniform Exchange events and may be found by scanning the QR codes provided below.

Pre-K to grade six, scan the code above
Grade seven through 12, scan the code above here

Community sponsors

The exchange’s efforts are bolstered by invaluable sponsors such as Super Laundromat Centers, ShopRite of Nutley, Kearny PBA Local No. 21, Kearny FMBA Local 18/218, American Legion Post 99, the Town of Kearny, and many others. Thanks to the generosity of Jorge and Daniel Santos of the Laundromat Center, the groupis  working with a brand new inventory system which has maximized the ability to help more children and families.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our sponsors, especially Super Laundromat Centers and the Santos brothers and Mina Ekladious of the Kearny PBA Local No. 21 and Juan C. Barroso Jr. of the Kearny FMBA Local 18/218, and all of those at the Kearny American Legion Post 99, for without their ongoing support, none of this would be possible,” Franzese-Paz said. “Together, we are making a significant difference in the lives of Kearny’s children, families and our local economy. We would also like to extend a special thanks to Deputy Mayor Melanie Ryan, who has been providing her mentorship to our executive board by helping us to raise funds and get organized for our biggest year yet.”

For more information or to become a sponsor, send an email to info@kpsue.org.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.