Mary Perdue Signs on For Totes to Tots

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

First Lady to Team Up With Georgia Cancer Specialists and WSB-TV to Collect Bags for Foster Children

First Lady Mary Perdue will join Georgia Specialists (GCS) and WSB-TV in support of this year’s “Totes to Tots” suitcase drive for foster children, event organizers recently announced. The sixth annual event will be held at 25 GCS offices across Georgia on Friday, January 18, 2008, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

“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 during frequent relocations. The annual volunteer event was first launched by GCS in 2003 and has collected and distributed over 8,200 bags.

 “We’re thrilled that Mrs. Perdue has chosen to support Georgia’s foster community through ‘Totes 2 Tots’,” said Dr. Bruce Feinberg, President/CEO of GCS. “This year’s event is certain to be the biggest to date.”

First Lady Mary Perdue and Governor Sonny Perdue are very active in the foster community and have been foster parents themselves.

“I’m pleased to join Totes 2 Tots and many other Georgians in finding ways to meet the needs of abused and neglected children in their own communities,” said First Lady Mary Perdue. “This endeavor encourages and enables us to truly make a difference in the life of a child.”

Mrs. Perdue will help collect bags at the GCS Stemmer office, located at 2712 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, Georgia, 30033. In addition, the First Lady will give a brief presentation, for which Dr. Feinberg and GCS COO Dr. Wendy Lenz will provide opening remarks.

“Totes 2 Tots” 2008’s 25 locations—expanded from 13 in 2007—include GCS offices in Alpharetta, Athens, Atlanta, Austell, Blairsville, Blue Ridge, Canton, Conyers, Cumming, Decatur, Duluth, Douglasville, Fayetteville, Griffin, Lawrenceville, Lithonia, Macon, Marietta, Milledgeville, Oconee, Fort Oglethorpe/Ringgold, Snellville, and Stockbridge (for complete listing, see below.)

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 fourth 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.

Totes 2 Tots -Off Locations

Click Location for a MapQuest Map

Statistics About Georgia’s Foster Children

  • 15,119 children were in foster care as of December 2005
  • 30% of those children have been in foster care more than 24 months
  • 50% were African-American
  • 41% were less than 6 years old
  • 67% were younger than 12
  • About 2,237 of those children were staying with relatives
  • About 8,386 were staying in foster homes
  • About 1,561 were in group homes
  • About 974 were housed in institutions
  • Approximately 8% of the children discharged will re-enter foster care within 1 year
  • 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.
  • Georgia’s 200 group homes are reimbursed for about 68% of their costs
  • Georgia’s 4,174 foster parents are reimbursed for about 67% of their costs
  • Those 4,174 families save the state approximately $34 million per year
  • Georgia ranks 39 out of 50 states in overall child well being

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

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