When heading out with your back-to-school shoppers this summer, take a moment to remind them how fortunate they are to be receiving so many new things. And then ask them to pick out some school supplies for kids that may not be so lucky.

It's a great way to introduce kids to a charitable cause they can identify with. After all, pencils, pens and crayons are pretty crucial to getting the job done at school.

It's also a great reminder that there are people in need all year long -- not just at the holidays.

Several agencies in Central Ohio are coordinating school-supply drives. Here's a list of contacts:

Organization: Volunteers of America Greater Ohio, Columbus, OH Contact: 614-372-3120 or visit www.operationbackpackgo.org/

Organization: Tom Fennessy Back-to-School Project Contact: Betty Kletrovets, 5277 Infinity Court, Grove City, OH 43123, or visit www.tomfennessy.org

Organization: St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Westerville, OH Contact: Kathi Haywood, 614-901-0173

-- Melissa Dutton, Columbus Parent contributing writer