By Jennifer L. Warren
NEWBURGH – Jacob Osborne could not erase the wide smile covering his face last Sunday afternoon inside The Office Vault.
The nine year old soon-to-be fifth grader had just picked out the “coolest” pair of new, camoflage Nike shoes, making his back-to-school shopping a true success. He was joined by several other area youth, as they eagerly selected clothing apparel, footwear and school supplies at a special event held by The Black Collective 845, a group of eight Newburgh area Businesses. The contingent of altruistic, entrepreneurs wanted to recognize youth for persevering with their academics during these challenging COVID-19 times, leading to a shift in their “normal,” while requiring unprecedented learning and other adjustments, patience and flexibility.
“We reached out to individuals and organizations in the area who we felt could benefit from this give back event,” explained Keisha Hall of The Black Collective 845. “The objective is to reward young people of Newburgh for their hard work during the Pandemic and let them know how much we appreciate them.”
Several local individuals, along with Black designers, donated the plentiful assortment of items. Some of those businesses included; Prayer and Hustle, Playmakers League, Shop My Basics and Trusic World. Meanwhile, the Office Vault, located on 400 Broadway in the City of Newburgh, provided the comfortable space, filled with upbeat energy, for the event.
“I really wanted to do something positive for the community, to help inspire them; we need that so badly right now in Newburgh,” said Office Vault owner, Ty Melvin, who grew up in Newburgh. “I look around, and I see this City going downhill, and I don’t want that to happen, so anything I can do to help, I’m going to do; plus, this gives me the opportunity to promote my business and brand.”
Melvin’s business was definitely buzzing a couple of weeks ago, as the packed quarters was filled with happy children, excited to secure items to get the school year rolling on a positive note. Another of those joyful recipients was Jacob’s brother, James Osborne.
Proudly displaying a black shirt he absolutely loved, the elder sibling also picked out a sweater, pair of jeans and notebook to start off the approaching school year.
“It’s really cool to get such awesome clothes for the new school year,” said James. “I was really excited to come here today.”
The Osborne boys’ mom received the invitation only event about a week prior. Ashley Burden, another area mother of two school-age girls also recently learned of her qualification for the unique, local shopping day.
I was so happy to learn about this chance to have a shopping experience with my girls,” said Burden, whose five year old daughter, Amaris Murphy, proudly selected a pretty dress and 11 year old daughter, Ariyah Murphy, picked out other clothes and shoes she adored.
“It’s been a great experience so far; my daughters are really enjoying it and so very excited to have the opportunity to be here; it makes the start of school so much better for all of us.”