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Donate this week to help students in need

As the first day of school draws near for local students, it's a good time to donate school supplies for those in need.

A variety of options are available for those looking to help local students.

Among the options is the United Way-sponsored Cool Tools for Cool Kids program, which allows customers of Publix to stop by Gwinnett County stores and drop off school supplies in "School Tools" bins.

In a separate back-to-school supply drive effort, donations will be welcomed through Tuesday at Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth and at Mall of Georgia in Buford as part of the Variety of Georgia effort.

Items accepted for all back-to-school drives include pens, pencils, notebook paper, glue, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, folders, rulers and binders.

Volunteers will also be needed for the Cool Tools for Cool Kids program to help sort supplies and prepare them for distribution between Aug. 15-30. To sign up, email volunteer@unitedwayatlanta.org.

According to a news release, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta mobilizes people "to help tackle the issues that are too big for anyone to solve alone."

For more information, visit www.unitedwayatlanta.org.

Variety of Georgia is a children's charity organization dedicated to "improving the lives of children through creative fundraising efforts, well placed donations with exceptional children charities and through its own charitable programs."

For more information, visit www.varietyofgeorgia.org.

For Gwinnett County Public School students the first day of classes is Aug. 8. Buford City Schools students start class on Aug. 4.