Georgia Cancer Specialists Recognizes MLK, Jr. Day With Fifth Annual “Totes 2 Tots”

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

GCS and WSB-TV to Gather Suitcases for Foster Children | Over 6,200 Bags Collected and Distributed Since 2003

Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS)—the largest private oncology/hematology practice in the Southeast—along with WSB-TV—the largest TV station in Atlanta—will be collecting suitcases for Georgia’s foster children on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day during its fifth annual “Totes 2 Tots” suitcase drive. The event will be held Monday, January 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 12 locations across Georgia, including seven in the Metro Atlanta area.

Dr. Wendy Hawke appears
on Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta.

Click here to view the video.

“Totes 2 Tots” delivers new or nearly new suitcases to foster children in Georgia, many of whom must shuffle their belongings from home to home in garbage bags. The annual volunteer event was first launched by GCS in 2003 and has collected and distributed over 6,200 bags.

“Martin Luther King Day is a day for community outreach, not simply a day off,” said Dr. Bruce Feinberg, President/CEO of GCS. “Through ‘Totes 2 Tots,’ we honor Dr. King by helping to bring respect and dignity to the foster community in Georgia.”

In 2005, WSB-TV recognized the importance of the drive and agreed to support it as a part of its Family 2 Family Project. This will be the third year that GCS and WSB-TV have partnered for “Totes 2 Tots.” Family 2 Family is the longest running locally produced, comprehensive, station-wide public service effort in Georgia. It includes shows such as People 2 People, a weekly half-hour public affairs program hosted by Jocelyn Dorsey that chronicles events and newsmakers in metro Atlanta.

Last year, “Totes 2 Tots” gathered over 1,900 suitcases in a single day. The bags stay in the county in which they are collected, and are distributed to local Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) offices.

2007 Totes Collection Locations at GCS Offices (click for a map.)

  1. Alpharetta
  2. Blue Ridge
  3. Canton
  4. Hawkinsville
  5. Hillandale (please note that this office will only collect bags from 10 a.m to 12 p.m.)
  6. Kennestone
  7. Lawrenceville
  8. Macon
  9. Milledgeville
  10. Northside
  11. Rockdale
  12. Stemmer
  13. Stockbridge

Statistics About Georgia’s Foster Children

  1. 15,119 children were in foster care as of December 2005
  2. 30% of those children have been in foster care more than 24 months
  3. 50% were African-American
  4. 41% were less than 6 years old
  5. 67% were younger than 12
  6. About 2,237 of those children were staying with relatives
  7. About 8,386 were staying in foster homes
  8. About 1,561 were in group homes
  9. About 974 were housed in institutions
  10. Approximately 8% of the children discharged will re-enter foster care within 1 year
  11. Foster parents are reimbursed according to the age of the child: birth to 5, $13.75; 6-12, $15.50; 13 and above, $17.75. The rate is higher for children needing medical care or a higher level of supervision. Medical treatment and clothing costs are covered by the agency.
  12. Georgia’s 200 group homes are reimbursed for about 68% of their costs
  13. Georgia’s 4,174 foster parents are reimbursed for about 67% of their costs
  14. Those 4,174 families save the state approximately $34 million per year
  15. Georgia ranks 39 out of 50 states in overall child well being

**Statistics from Governor Sonny Perdue’s web site:

http://www.gov.state.ga.us/summit_fl/statistics.shtml

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