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Back to School project needs more help

The need has outstripped the supply, and the Readiness to Learn Foundation is looking to the community for more help with its annual Back to School Project.

The nonprofit foundation offers school supplies, backpacks and gift cards for clothing and haircuts for students whose families can’t afford to buy them.

The supplies, gift cards and money for the program were all donated by members of the community.

For the first time in 12 years, the program ran out of supplies before everyone who applied could be served, said Gail LaVassar, executive director of the nonprofit Readiness to Learn Foundation.

“We have a waiting list,” she said Thursday. “That’s never happened before.”

LaVassar said the program served 207 students in the two weeks leading up to the start of school Tuesday. There are 30 still on the waiting list, and another 25 or so, most of them homeless, can be expected to come forward in the first couple weeks of school, she said.

The foundation hopes to raise another $4,000 to buy additional supplies and gift cards, which will be distributed while they last at the foundation’s Family Resource Center, behind the former South Whidbey Primary School.

Donations can be sent to Back To School, PO Box 346, Langley WA, 98260. School supplies can be dropped off at the Family Resource Center. For more information, call 221-6808, ext. 4322.

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