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Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - Page updated at 03:30 p.m.

Editorial: School supplies drive — fill a backpack with confidence


ALL of the financial challenges for low-income families facing another school year are dramatically compounded for homeless children and youth.

Reader donations to The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy school-supplies campaign reach these families and students through Project Cool for Back-to-School.

This program is a volunteer-run public service of The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. Coalition partners provide shelter, transitional and permanent housing, and other support services.

Having a backpack full of school supplies is one less distraction for students whose families are otherwise consumed with finding shelter and help to get re-established in a tough economy.

The coalition is also a resource for school districts about the needs and issues of homeless students and their families. Helping support and sustain the education of these students during a difficult period in their lives sends a powerful statement to them from the community.

Arriving at school with the same school supplies as everyone else is an extraordinary gift of anonymity. No extra flurry of attention-drawing activity to find them pens and notebooks.

Reader contributions are divided among three excellent agencies: Hopelink, the YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness.

They buy, organize and distribute grade-appropriate supplies. They screen applicants. They know the need from the cities to the suburbs, and they reach immigrant communities and struggling families within seemingly prosperous areas.

Summer flies by, and volunteer efforts are already under way to prepare for the new school year. Please help needy students to join their classmates, equipped and ready to learn.

Readers 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 please go online at seati.ms/edschoolsupplies or email pdelaney@seattletimes.com for details.


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