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Saturday, July 14, 2018

School supply drives under way

A donation box.
The school year ended just a few weeks ago, but it’s already time to start thinking about school supplies for the next term.

The nonprofit organization Britepaths has already launched its annual back-to-school drive to benefit needy students in Annandale, Falls Church, and Fairfax public schools.

Britepaths is asking the public to donate backpacks, calculators, and funds. The organization’s goal is to provide supplies for at least 2,500 students who attend schools in the Justice High School and Fairfax High School pyramids and other select schools, including Poe Middle School.

The Rotary Club of Bailey’s Crossroads is partnering with Britepaths to help fund and deliver supplies to Bailey’s Elementary School, Glasgow Middle School, and Justice High School.

Community members can donate through Britepaths’ secure online donation page or mail a check to 4080 Chain Bridge Road, 2nd Floor, Fairfax, VA 22030. Write “BTS” in the memo line.

Donations of new backpacks and scientific calculators are also welcome. They can be brought to Britepaths’ offices through Aug. 3, Mondays through Fridays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Additional local donation drop-off sites are listed on Britepaths’ website.

Backpacks can also be ordered and shipped directly to Britepaths through “wish lists” on Amazon and DollarDays. For more information on donating or sponsoring the program, contact Joanne Walton at 703-273-8829 or

Britepaths is collaborating with Fairfax County’s Collect for Kids partnership, which includes Fairfax County Public Schools, the Fairfax County Office of Public-Private Partnerships, Apple Federal Credit Union, and a variety of local non-profit organizations and businesses, with the goal of serving as many FCPS students in need as possible by purchasing high-quality school supplies at discounted prices.

For the first time, Britepaths is partnering with a local business based in Herndon called Campus Survival Kits to purchase and deliver all school supplies a student needs for a substantial discount.

Rather than an average cost of $40 from a retail store, the partnership allows Britepaths to spend just $15 per student and often $10 or less for an elementary student.

“It is incredible to think that 54,000 students in the Fairfax County Public Schools system are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals. Their parents are struggling to put food on the table, and the prospect of finding funds to put toward school supplies is stressful for them,” says Britepaths Executive Director Lisa Whetzel. “We hope the community will respond generously to ensure that children whose families are in crisis are able to return to school this fall with all the tools they need to succeed in the new school year.”

Northern Virginia Family Services (NVFS) is also collecting funds for school supplies for needy schoolchildren.

Thanks to special purchasing programs, every dollar donated to NVFS allows the organization to buy $2 worth of school supplies.

Checks can be mailed to Northern Virginia Family Services, Attn: Back2School, 10455 White Granite Drive, Suite 100, Oakton, VA 22124. Checks should be payable to NVFS, with B2S in the memo line.

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