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About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Ways to help students get ready for school

school_supplies The tax-free school supply weekend is coming up. It will be Aug. 1-3, and school supplies $20 and under and clothes and shoes $100 and under will be exempt from sales taxes.

This is a good time to stock up–and to grab some extras to help area children in need. Here are some ways you can help:

  • YMCA’s Bright Beginnings hopes to help at least 70 King George students with school supplies, backpacks and clothes. The effort especially needs money, volunteer shoppers and backpacks filled with supplies from local school lists. To help, go to or email
  • Stafford County Public Schools’ Collect for Kids efforts seeks school supplies such as backpacks, pencils, 3-ring binders, glue, composition notebooks, drafting kits, paper, spiral notebooks, index cards, flash drives and more. Donation locations include the Porter and England Run libraries, Chick Fil A restaurants on Dunn Drive and International Parkway. For details, visit
  • A Stuff the Bus drive will benefit homeless students in Spotsylvania. Donations of supplies such as crayons, pencils, notebooks, backpacks and more can be dropped off at the Southpoint WalMart on Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Freedom Assembly of God in Spotsylvania will give away school supplies on Aug. 16. To donate backpacks and supplies, call 540/840-4404 or 540/548-3022.
  • School Dressing Days will give away new clothes and backpacks starting Aug. 8. To help, bring new backpacks and clothes to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1710 Bragg Rd., on the mornings of Aug. 7, 8 or 9.
  • Stafford Junction hopes to help about 200 students with supplies. The organization needs supplies and money. To help, email