Many working families struggle to get their kids ready for the new school year. Seattle Times readers can help.

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GOING back to school can be fun. Planning what you’re going to wear on the first day. Sharpening some pencils and opening up a new notebook. Looking forward to seeing the friends you missed over the summer.

That first day of class is not as fun for the kids without new outfits and whose parents can’t afford the long list of supplies that keeps getting longer every year.

“The list can be overwhelming for a parent who is struggling,” said Kris Bektor of Hopelink, a nonprofit that helps struggling families in the suburbs.

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To give online, visit: seati.ms/edschoolsuppliesQuestions? Email: ffn@seattletimes.comOr please send checks to:

The Seattle Times School Supply Drive, P.O. Box C-11025, Seattle, WA 98111

Hopelink is one of three organizations that benefit from The Seattle Times editorial board’s school-supply drive. The others are the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness and the YWCA Seattle-King-Snohomish.

The money donated by generous readers pays for brand-new backpacks filled with everything from crayons to calculators.

Michelle, a single Redmond mom raising a son with special needs, struggles to make ends meet despite having a job working for the school district. She says the school supply list for her 10-year-old surprises her every year, because the school district requests close to $100 worth of supplies.

“I make too much to qualify for food stamps. Does that mean I make enough to pay for everything my son needs? No,” says Michelle.

Michelle says Hopelink understands that many working families need help, even when they’re not poor enough to get public assistance.

She hopes The Seattle Times’ readers get that as well, because her son Robbie would dearly love to walk into school this fall with a red backpack on his back.