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STUDENTS might be willfully oblivious that another school year begins soon, but parents anxious about the expenses know it all too well.

Generous readers are helping relieve some of that financial stress with donations to The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy school-supplies drive.

Our editorial-page campaign to provide students with the tools of learning is one of many community programs around Puget Sound that are filling backpacks and easing the return to class.

This past Saturday, for example, Operation Homefront Pacific Northwest conducted the last of 12 distributions of backpacks and school supplies in Washington, Oregon and Alaska to help military kids. The event for the Lakewood/Tacoma area was part of a nationwide Back-to-School Brigade program.

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Operation Homefront knows the need that exists among military families. Awareness and a persistent response are key to making a difference.

That has certainly defined Congregations for Kids on the Eastside, which focuses on providing school supplies to needy families in Bellevue schools.

This year the group’s 29 members collected supplies and money to stuff backpacks for 1,572 students.

Contributions to our campaign are divided among three excellent agencies: Hopelink, the YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness.

Lots of helping hands for grateful students and their families. Thank you for the donations that make it happen.

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 or email for details.

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