MADISON, Wis. -

A charity has once again set out to raise money to buy school supplies for children in need, according to a release.

School Supplies for Kids has delivered supplies to more than 140 schools in Dane County, and has set a goal to raise $55,000 by Sept. 1, organizers said.

“This is not even a third of the real need,” founder of School Supplies for Kids David Vogel said in a release. “Our program furnishes basic supplies such as pencils, crayons and paper from a list developed with the aid of area teachers. But the schools also recommend backpacks, padlocks, calculators and other items.”

Vogel said the need in Dane County counties to grow each year.

Wisconsin Department of Instruction statistics say the number of economically-disadvantaged children has increased by more than 35 percent, according to the release.

The program’s major partners are Shopko Department Stores, Mead and Hunt Inc., Firefighters Local 311, UPS, Budget Truck Rental, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Vogel Bros. Building Company and the Vogel Foundation.

“Through the Vogel Foundation, School Supplies for Kids can purchase supplies with tax-exempt status,” Vogel said. “All donations are tax deductible, while all materials for mailing, coordination, time and delivery costs are donated. We ensure that 100 percent of every dollar donated, minus PayPal fees for online contributions, goes directly to the purchase of school supplies.”

Twenty-one years ago parents in a neighborhood asked for help buying school supplies for their children, according to the release. Vogel and some business associates wanted to help and started pooling together funding to buy the supplies.

Now School Supplies for Kids is in its 21st year providing a crucial step forward for school children each year.

“One way that we can help close the achievement gap in Dane County schools is to help the economically disadvantaged kids off to a good start,” Vogel said. “Having the necessary school supplies is a way of doing that.”