Help children in need this summer by donating to The Seattle Times editorial board’s school-supply drive.

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Jane Ann Bradbury has supported The Seattle Times editorial board’s annual school-supply drive every year since the fundraiser began 19 years ago.

As a retired Seattle schoolteacher, she is intimately aware of the impacts of poverty and homelessness on our public schools. She also knows how expensive it is for parents to get their children ready for fall, whether money is tight or not.

“When I hear what my neighbors are putting out for schools supplies  — over $600 — how can anybody afford that?” said Bradbury, who was an elementary music teacher for about 23 years and raised two children of her own. She also volunteers with Magnolia United Church of Christ, where her husband Bob served as a minister.

Bradbury, 80,  doesn’t remember being required to buy a big pile of school supplies each year like families are asked to do now. But she understands that parents and teachers face different realities today. The government no longer provides enough money for each school to buy all the notebooks, crayons and calculators children need for the year.

Whether you think tax dollars or individual parents should pay for school supplies, some children in nearly every school come from families without enough money to cover those costs. That’s why The Seattle Times editorial board works with Hopelink, the YWCA Seattle-King-Snohomish and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness each summer to make sure children from needy families won’t walk into school with an empty backpack this fall.

For 19 years, generous readers of The Seattle Times, like Bradbury, have answered the call and provided money to buy thousands of backpacks full of supplies. Last year, between Independence Day and the end of September, readers set a record of generosity, with 933 people donating more than $125,500 to the school-supply drive. All donations are split evenly between our three nonprofit partners.

The need is even greater this year. Please consider giving to the drive and help send about 5,000 children in need back to school proudly wearing a new backpack filled with school supplies.