The power of social media can be wielded for society’s benefit. The viral #clearthelist campaign on Twitter demonstrates that much good can result from society’s instant connectivity, despite the political rancor the medium so often sparks.

Through #clearthelist and its state-specific variations such as #clearthelistWA, generous Twitter users worldwide have helped American schoolteachers buy supplies for their classrooms. Teachers post the books and teaching tools their classrooms lack to Amazon wish lists and crowdfunding sites. Then the teacher links to the list on Twitter with the #clearthelist hashtag, which enables givers to find and help them.

This ingenious effort is the brainchild of a Texas teacher, who deserves praise from every state. The need for school supplies to ensure classroom equity has long plagued schools everywhere.

For 20 years, Seattle Times readers have helped by donating money to buy supplies for students in King and Snohomish counties.

Funds donated to The Times editorial board’s drive go directly to three local organizations that fill backpacks with supplies for local children in need: Hopelinkthe Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness and YWCA Seattle-King-Snohomish. To contribute, you can give online, email questions to or send checks to: The Seattle Times School-Supply Drive, P.O. Box C-11025, Seattle, WA 98111