THUMBS UP to all those who will conduct or contribute to a school supplies drive before summer vacation ends in August.

Briggs Printing and Design is the first of we hope many businesses or organizations to announce they are conducting a school supplies drive.

This is the fourth consecutive year Briggs has conducted the drive.

Our youth need all the help they can get to succeed in school. Donations of school supplies helps ensure students can focus on studies and not fall behind because they don’t have the necessary supplies.

School supply drives also help teachers. Many teachers reach into their pockets to provide supplies for students.

Parents have much going on in their lives. It can be a financial burden this time of year to get new supplies.

If you own a business or know of a school supplies drive in the area, please let us know. We will publish a list in the paper and online.

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THUMBS UP to a program that provides income-eligible families with summer utility cooling bills.

The Department of Health Services will begin accepting online applications July 9 at www.OKDHSLive.org. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program.

Native American households may apply through www.OKDHSLive.org or through their tribal nation. Tribal households cannot receive assistance from both DHS and their tribe during the same fiscal year.

Persons applying should have the most recent cooling bill information for their home or utility supplier, as well as their ID, social security number and verification of income.

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THUMBS UP to the daughter of Oklahoma native and Hollywood actor James Garner for creating a fund to assist rescue operations of dogs.

Gigi told the Norman Transcript that her father — known for iconic roles including Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford — loved dogs.

“I wanted to start some sort of charitable foundation in my father’s honor, and I’ve been rescuing dogs for 30 years,” Gigi said. “It just dawned on me that this would be a perfect fit.”

The James Garner Animal Rescue Fund will help assist rescue operations, shelters and veterinarians. She wants to focus on Oklahoma.

“I want to keep my dad’s legacy alive,” Gigi said. “I know Oklahomans will not forget him. Oklahomans … those were his people, that’s where he came from and he never forgot that.”

Visit jgarf.org for information.

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THUMBS UP to the many who worked on the July Fourth holiday. Many were first-responders or worked in healthcare.

Many missed being with family or friends keeping businesses open that catered to those who had the holiday off.

Active members of the military are not guaranteed holidays or days off. Their mission is 24-7, 365.

We are grateful to all those who work to make others’ lives safer, healthier or just more pleasant.

McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board