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Editorial: Enjoy Tax Holiday, Donate School Supplies

Good timing to help those in need.

Drop off locations:

Del Ray Area

A Show of Hands—2301 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Artfully Chocolate—2003A Mt. Vernon Ave.

Caboose Café—2419 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Cora Kelly Recreation Center—25 W Reed Ave.

Dairy Godmother—2308 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Eclectic Nature & Garden Center—1503 Mt. Vernon Ave.

FireFlies—1501 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Grace Episcopal Church—3601 Russell Road

Nature's Nibbles—2601 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Neighborhood Pharmacy—2204 Mt. Vernon Ave

Pork Barrel BBQ—2312 Mt. Vernon Ave

St. Elmo's—2300 Mt. Vernon Ave

Ultimate Results—2305 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Yates Automotive—317 E Braddock Road

Yoga in Daily Life—2402 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Old Town Area

Alexandria City Hall—301 King St., main lobby and 2nd floor

ASIS—1625 Prince St.

Charles Houston Recreation Center—901 Wythe St.

McEnearney Associates—109 S. Pitt St.

Today's Cargo—1102 King St.

Volunteer Alexandria—123 N. Alfred St., 1st floor

These Burke & Herbert Locations:

Burke & Herbert Carlyle—1775 Jamieson Ave.

Burke & Herbert Fairlington Branch—1705 Fern St.

Burke & Herbert King Street—621 King St.

Burke & Herbert Landmark—155 N. Paxton St.

Burke & Herbert Main Offce—100 S Fairfax St.

Burke & Herbert Monroe Avenue—306 E. Monroe Ave.

All Alexandria Public Library Branches

Barrett Branch—717 Queen St.

Beatley Branch—5005 Duke St.

Burke Branch—4701 Seminary Road

Duncan Branch—2501 Commonwealth Ave.

Other Alexandria Locations

Alexandria Health Department—4480 King St., 4th floor

Alexandria INOVA—4320 Seminary Road

William Ramsay Recreation Center—5650 Sanger Ave.

Lee Center—1108 Jefferson St.

State Farm—1705 Centre Plaza

Church ofthe Resurrection—2280 N. Beauregard St.

Commonwealth Federal Credit Union—4875 Eisenhower Ave.

Congregation Agudas Achim—2908 Valley Dr.

The Church of St Clement—1701 Quaker Lane

The Sentinel of Landmark—6300 Stevenson Ave.

Crave Frozen Yogurt—3610 King St., Bradlee Center

Northern Virginia Community College—3001 N. Beauregard St.

It is debatable whether recurring tax holidays for different seasonal needs are good policy. But since this weekend is Virginia’s tax holiday on school supplies and clothing, it makes sense to take advantage of the savings, and to spread the wealth around. The savings are more significant this year with the new sales tax increases in effect as of July 1.

This year the tax holiday is Aug. 2-4. During this three-day period, school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from Virginia sales tax. There are some items that do not qualify, for example digital school supplies. See http://www.tax.virginia.gov/ for more details.

When you are buying school supplies for your family, buy extra to donate to local families who are not able to afford to do the same. In Fairfax County, more than 40,000 students are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced price meals at school.

In Fairfax County, local nonprofits, Fairfax County Public Schools and corporate partners are collecting school supplies and backpacks. Monetary donations and backpacks are being accepted by eight local nonprofits and through local Apple and Northwest Federal Credit Union Branches, as well as online at http://collectforkids.org/donate/ through Aug. 23. Last year the drive provided supplies for nearly 20,000 students. A $10 cash donation goes a long way.

Nonprofits partnering in this collection effort include Koinonia, New Hope Church, Northern Virginia Family Service, Our Daily Bread, Reston Interfaith, United Community Ministries and Western Fairfax Christian Ministries.

For more, see the Collect for Kids website at http://collectforkids.org.

FACETS is also collecting contributions of money, school supplies and backpacks. Last year, FACETS gave backpacks filled with supplies to more than 300 needy students. Contact Liz Griffith, development coordinator at 703-352-3268 or lgriffith@facetscares.org. See http://facetscares.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/SchoolSupplyFlyerFY14.pdf.

Donate in Arlington

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is holding its 5th Annual Backpack Drive to provide more than 250 backpacks to children in low to moderate income families to help them have a successful start to the new school year.

Donations needed: New backpacks in all sizes, spiral or composition notebooks, binders, loose-leaf and graph paper, sharpeners, #2 pencils, blue, black and red pens, pocket folders, crayons, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, glue sticks, school scissors, whiteout and erasers. Contact Shanette Yao at 703-851-3621 or at syao@apah.org. Call Liz McElwee with questions at 703-851-3635 or email at lmcelwee@apah.org. The drop off location is the APAH office at 2704 N. Pershing Drive, Arlington from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Arlington will partner with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing to provide backpacks and school supplies to the children of their residents.

The church will collect the school items on Aug. 4 and Aug. 11. On Sunday, Aug. 11 the church will have a special Blessing of the Backpacks during the 10 a.m. Choral Eucharist. Any child who wants to bring their own backpack to be blessed, along with a donation to APAH, is welcome to do so. 4000 Lorcom Lane, Arlington, 703-522-1600.

Donate in Alexandria

Alexandria Public Schools are asking for help to ensure every child in Alexandria starts the first day of school with a backpack and school supplies. Donations are needed by Aug. 19 at drop-off locations below 

Supplies needed: Backpacks, spiral notebooks, wide-rule filler paper, 3-ring binders, 2-pocket folders, subject dividers, pencil boxes/zipper pouches, scissors/glue/rulers, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, markers, colored pencils, crayons, highlighters and tissues.