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Originally published August 16, 2012 at 4:30 PM | Page modified August 16, 2012 at 5:23 PM

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Schools supplies / The tools of learning: many helping hands

Please donate to The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy school-supplies campaign. Help provide the tools of learning.

How to help

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, email: pdelaney@seattletimes.com

How to help

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, email: pdelaney@seattletimes.com

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Organizations helping struggling families prepare for a new school year are thinking about all the school supplies they have to order and distribute.

It is a task they embrace with great dedication. They know firsthand the need that exists throughout Puget Sound.

Generous readers are making contributions to the annual editorial page school-supplies drive of The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy. Those donations provide the tools of learning to students who would otherwise show up empty-handed for the first day of class.

This is a community effort. Providing backpacks stuffed with grade-appropriate supplies begins with generosity.

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

They screen applicants, buy supplies in bulk and assemble volunteers to organize and distribute them.

Readers' contributions go farther because of supportive local businesses. For example, Project Cool for Back-to-School, of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, has two special partners.

Discounts on supplies are negotiated for Project Cool by the University Book Store, in Seattle, through the efforts of two employees, Susan Esayian and Anne Feurer.

Likewise, Kimmel Athletic Supply of Redmond and employee Smitty Smith make sure Project Cool can purchase high-quality backpacks at a great price.

The magic in a backpack of school supplies is powered by lots of people who care.

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