Embrace the school-supply drive like volunteers from e-commerce company TheMine.com.

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KIRKLAND e-commerce company TheMine.com sells high-end home furnishings and ships to wherever its customers live. But when it comes to philanthropy, company officials like to stay local.

President Michelle Newbery says the company’s volunteer theme this year is helping with homelessness, so she was happy to hear of a recent opportunity to work at Hopelink, about a mile from her office, filling backpacks full of school supplies.

Donors, including readers of The Seattle Times, buy those backpacks and school supplies so children from struggling families can walk proudly into school this fall with the tools they need to learn just like their wealthier classmates.

Help buy supplies

To give online, visit: seati.ms/edschoolsupplies.

Questions? Email: ffn@seattletimes.com.

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

On a recent Friday, 15 volunteers filled 100 backpacks in about two hours and learned how Hopelink makes a difference for kids and families.

“We really appreciate what they’re doing,” said Newbery, who also led a group of volunteers to help in the Hopelink food bank earlier this summer.

Hopelink is one of the organizations that receives money from The Seattle Times editorial board’s school-supply drive that began on Independence Day and runs through Labor Day.

Last year, 764 generous newspaper readers donated $100,000, which was divided equally among three organizations: YWCA Seattle King Snohomish, Hopelink and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. The money was used to buy school supplies and backpacks for more than 4,400 children around King and Snohomish counties.

Hopelink hopes to fill more than 1,000 brand-new backpacks this summer with school supplies and distribute them to needy families in north and east King County.

Brandon Schmidt, a senior divisional manager at TheMine.com, said he was surprised at the breadth of the need for school supplies in the Seattle area. Hopelink’s ambitious goal for this year is to fill as many as 2,000 backpacks.

“When I heard 1,500 to 2,000, it was mind boggling,” Schmidt said.

Newbery said it’s easy for companies to make a difference in their communities because the needs are so great everywhere.

“We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to help,” she said.