If you work in the fashion industry, you're no stranger to the fact that these economic times have impacted global style, shopping habits, and runway trends. But no matter how the recession has affected hemlines and color palettes, such sartorial changes pale in comparison to how some of life's absolute necessities—namely, academics—have taken a hit. Because of worldwide school budget cuts, classrooms are working harder than ever to keep up and provide students with sound learning environments.

On September 16th, Microsoft search engine Bing launched "Our School Needs," a campaign that asks educational institutions from across the country to send along wish lists of supplies and facilities they desperately need. When the contest ends on November 9th, one lucky school will earn $100,000 to help lighten their financial load. And, in an interesting example of technology-meets-democracy, three additional schools voted on by Bing users will each walk away with $50,000, and even more funding will be provided to other programs in need with the help of the nonprofit DonorsChoose.org.

"As a soon-to-be mother of two, I absolutely recognize how important it is that every child have access to a great education, and at a school that has everything it needs to make the experience worthwhile," says Nina Garcia, our Fashion Director. "Without the right materials—even just basic, everyday school supplies—even the most dedicated teachers can't do their jobs."

Nina and all of us at Marie Claire urge our readers to find out more about this awesome cause. For more on "Our School Needs," to find out about local involvement, or to vote for a school in need, just click on over to bing.com/ourschoolneeds.

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