School supplies / The tools of learning: the pursuit of happiness
Please donate to The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy school-supplies campaign. Help provide the tools of learning.
Seattle Times Editorial
How to helpREADERS ARE INVITED to send a donation to The School Supply Drive of The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy, P.O. Box C-11025, Seattle, WA 98111.
For donations via debit or credit card, email: email@example.com
HAPPY Fourth of July. We are back to ask our generous readers to donate money for school supplies for needy children. Their grateful smiles are the essence of the pursuit of happiness.
Today we celebrate the Declaration of Independence and its author, Thomas Jefferson. His words inspire an annual editorial-page campaign to provide school supplies for students who would otherwise return to class without the basic tools of learning.
Summer break is a fleeting respite. Families struggling through this stubborn economic downturn are already thinking about the expenses of another school year as they wait in growing lines at food banks.
The school-supply drive of The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy enters its 13th summer with the same goal: send students back to class equipped to learn.
School supplies are put in the hands of young people who are acting upon a strong desire to pursue change, improve and learn. Education, and the opportunity it bestows, is at the core of America's optimism.
Happiness for Jefferson was not a giddy emotion. He knew his audience was grounded in an English political philosophy of government promoting life, liberty and the pursuit of property.
He pointed the country in another direction with the embrace of the Greek origin of the word happiness — a flourishing based on learning and working toward the perfection of justice.
In "Notes on Virginia," Jefferson wrote:
"Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all pursuits."
For Jefferson, learning was the key to happiness. Personal fulfillment came with education. The future of democracy and freedom rested with an educated populace.
Yes, reader donations empower more than the purchase of school supplies. Our campaign runs through Labor Day, with weekly editorial reminders. We would be pleased to acknowledge the efforts of service organizations and community groups with similar efforts.
Donations are divided among three excellent agencies: Hopelink, the YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County and the Seattle/King Council Coalition on Homelessness. They screen the applicants, buy and organize the supplies and distribute them.
Please help young minds flourish, and accept Jefferson's words of praise and thanks:
"The reward of esteem, respect and gratitude (is) due those who devote their time and efforts to render the youths of every successive age fit governors for the next."