Three organizations depend on Seattle Times readers to help them fill thousands of backpacks full of school supplies each summer.

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MORE than 12,000 homeless students in King and Snohomish counties have a lot to worry about as they get ready for the school year. Thanks to the generous readers of The Seattle Times, many can check at least one thing off their list: buying costly school supplies.

Students who benefit from The Seattle Times editorial board’s summer school-supply drive will walk into class on the first day with a backpack full of supplies — from colored pencils to flash drives.

Alison Eisinger, executive director of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, says they would like to do a lot more for these students, but a new backpack full of school supplies is a good start.

Help buy supplies

To give online, visit:

Questions? Email:

Or please send checks to: The Seattle Times School Supply Drive, P.O. Box C-11025, Seattle, WA 98111

The coalition’s “Project Cool” is one of three recipients of the editorial board’s school-supply drive that runs through Labor Day. They hope to fill at least 1,000 backpacks this year.

Last year, 764 generous newspaper readers donated $100,000, divided equally between the YWCA Seattle King Snohomish, Hopelink and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. The money paid for school supplies and backpacks for more than 4,400 children in King and Snohomish counties.

The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness also is an advocate for homeless families and youth and works with school districts on supporting students who have no stable place to sleep at night.

Eisinger said if she could add items to the backpacks, she would include a gift certificate for a book store so each child could pick out a new book. And she would include passes for the children to go to local museums.

“We want to make sure kids who are experiencing homelessness get to have the same education, as well as the same experiences, as their housed peers,” Eisinger said.

Seattle Times readers can help her reach that goal by contributing to the school-supply drive. Those who have resources to provide other items on Eisinger’s wish list should contact the coalition directly: