In more than three decades, the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness has made sure unhoused students start the school year with all the supplies they need for learning.

Each summer, the coalition’s Project Cool volunteers stuff hundreds of new backpacks with school essentials tailored for different grade levels in an effort to ensure no student arrives at school unprepared. The group says it has helped more than 36,500 students in need since the program began.

You can help by donating to The Seattle Times editorial board’s annual school-supply drive. These much-needed cash donations are evenly distributed to the coalition and two other community partners: YWCA Seattle-King-Snohomish and Hopelink.

Project Cool organizers estimate that a $60 donation will help them provide one student with a new backpack stuffed with school supplies, age-appropriate books and hygiene items. They estimate a $100 donation will allow them to supply 25 high school students with spiral notebooks for writing assignments and taking notes. A $200 donation will enable them to buy new crayons, markers and colored pencils for 30 kindergartners.

In the first three weeks of this year’s drive, which runs from the Fourth of July to Labor Day, more than 200 readers donated a combined $33,160 toward our $200,000 goal. Your cash donations allow partners to buy in bulk and tailor backpacks by grade level, so no child has to show up to school embarrassed because they don’t have the tools they need to learn.

The drive is part of The Seattle Times Fund for Those in Need, a registered 501(c) (3) Charitable Organization. Donations of every amount are greatly appreciated.

The easiest way to donate is online. Checks may also be sent to: The Seattle Times School-Supply Drive, P.O. Box C-11025, Seattle, WA 98111. Email questions to