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

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For many families vacations and pool memberships are the top financial pressures of summer. For others, those luxuries are out of reach. They worry instead about saving money to get their children ready for another year of school.

Families with school-age kids can spend hundreds of dollars each year on school supplies. The cost of backpacks, calculators, notebooks and pens add up quickly. The school-supply bill — without clothes, shoes and other items children need each fall — is enough to bust a struggling family’s budget.

About one in five children under the age of 18 live in poverty in the United States, according to Communities In Schools, a nonprofit that brings community resources into schools, including food and clothing.

Help buy supplies

To give online:

Questions? Email:

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

In the Puget Sound region, thanks to the generous readers of The Seattle Times, thousands of children in King and Snohomish counties will go back to school next fall with new backpacks full of school supplies.

Please consider donating to the editorial board’s 19th annual school-supply drive, which is part of The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy.

According to the National Retail Federation, parents last year expected to spend an average of $687.72 on electronics, clothes and school supplies. A new estimate for fall 2018 will be available later this summer.

Last year, between Independence Day and the end of September, Seattle Times readers set a record of generosity, with 933 people donating more than $125,500 to the school-supply drive.

All donations go directly to three organizations that use the money to purchase backpacks and supplies: YWCA Seattle-King-Snohomish, Hopelink and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness.

In 2017, Seattle Times readers sent close to 5,000 children in need back to school proudly wearing a new backpack filled with school supplies.

Without support from these and many other community organizations, children living in poverty are more likely to miss school, drop out and fail to earn a high school diploma, sending them down the path toward another generation of poverty.

This summer, please help children from King and Snohomish counties get ready for school with all the supplies and confidence they need to succeed.