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Votes

Opinion: Save a Little, Help Others Prepare for School

Virginia’s tax holiday on school supplies is a good reminder to donate supplies and dollars for children who need help arriving at school prepared.

Virginia’s tax holiday on school supplies and clothing is Aug. 1­3, and it makes sense to take advantage of the savings, and to spread the wealth around.

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, just under 50,000 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 Sept. 2. Last year the drive provided supplies for nearly 20,000 students. A $10 cash donation goes a long way.

Collect for Kids Program runs through Sept. 2. Monetary donations can be accepted any time. Donate money at www.collectforkids.org. Also accepting donations of backpacks at every Apple Federal Credit Union and Northwest Federal Credit Union branch in Fairfax County and at any of the affiliate charitable organizations, including Cornerstones, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, Our Daily Bread, Koinonia, United Community Ministries and others.

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

DONATE IN ARLINGTON

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is holding its 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 include: 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 Liz McElwee at lmcelwee@apah.org or by calling 703­851­3635.

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.

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