If you had the power to relieve a struggling parent from just one worry, would you do it?

That’s the purpose of The Seattle Times editorial board’s annual school-supply drive.

As parents know, back-to-school expenses can easily reach hundreds of dollars, between the cost of clothes, shoes, technology, fees and other necessities. Double the price tag, triple or quadruple it for families with multiple kids in school.

These annual expenses are a hit to any pocketbook. They can be almost overwhelming for families that struggle each month just to keep food in the fridge and a roof over everyone’s head. There are more than 38,600 families with children living in poverty in King and Snohomish counties, according to U.S. Census figures. After a rollercoaster year of uncertainty and economic hardship, the need has never been more urgent.

A backpack stuffed with essential school supplies helps ease the burden. It also shows families and kids that the community has their backs.

Seattle Times readers have generously stepped up to help over the past two decades, contributing well over $1 million to this important cause.

Every penny of donated funds is distributed to community partners YWCA Seattle-King-Snohomish, Hopelink and Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, who use them to buy notebooks, folders, flash drives, backpacks, calculators, pencils, crayons, glue and other essentials for thousands of students in King and Snohomish counties. Cash donations are important, because they are flexible — allowing our partners to buy supplies in bulk and tailor backpacks to student need.

Donate online at st.news/schoolsupplies2021. Checks may also be sent to: The Seattle Times School-Supply Drive, P.O. Box C-11025, Seattle, WA 98111. email questions to ffn@seattletimes.com.