Georgia Cancer Specialists Gathers a Record 2,000 Bags During Totes 2 Tots

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Over 8,200 Bags Collected and Distributed Since 2003

Totes 2 TotsGeorgia Cancer Specialists (GCS)—the largest private oncology/hematology practice in the Southeast—and WSB-TV—the largest TV station in Atlanta—again spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day collecting suitcases for Georgia’s foster children during the fifth annual “Totes 2 Tots” suitcase drive. This year produced the best result ever, as over 2,000 totes were collected.

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

Click here to view the video.

The event was held Monday, January 15, from 10 AM to 1 PM at 13 locations across Georgia, including eight in the Metro Atlanta area.

“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 bags are distributed to children in the counties in which they’re collected. The annual volunteer event was first launched by GCS in 2003 and has collected and distributed over 8,200 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.”

The Totes program has also gained the avid support of Governor Sonny Perdue and First Lady Mary Perdue. They are very active in the foster community and have been foster parents themselves.

“Foster children are very near and dear to my heart. With more than 15,000 of Georgia’s children in foster care, it is imperative that we continue to spread awareness and promote successful programs such as Georgia Cancer Specialists’s ‘Totes 2 Tots,’ said First Lady Perdue. “This initiative has provided many of Georgia’s foster children with the necessary equipment to help soften the burden of frequent relocations. I hope that you will embrace, support, and contribute to this benevolent cause for the benefit of Georgia’s children.”

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 was 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.

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.)

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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