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

THE calendar stills says July, so summer break is still a luxurious reality. Except for homeless and low-income families for whom a new school year looms as another source of economic stress.

Struggling families have an ally in the YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County. Help and guidance are provided through the YWCA’s employment, health, domestic-violence and shelter programs.

Additional assistance comes from generous readers who support the school-supply drive of The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy. Donations to the editorial-page campaign helped the YWCA School Days Program provide 1,477 children with new backpacks filled with school supplies.

Providing those tools of learning eliminates an emotional and financial barrier for those who otherwise would not arrive for class equipped to learn.

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Reader donations also go to two other excellent agencies: Hopelink and the The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. They all screen applicants, buy supplies in bulk, and organize and distribute the grade-appropriate materials.

Academic readiness includes the pens, pencils, crayons and notebooks to take on class assignments, just like all the other students. Please help inspire confidence.