Due to icy wintry weather, Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) has decided to reschedule its annual Totes 2 Tots suitcase drive for foster children. Originally scheduled to take place Friday, January 14, the event has been postponed until Friday, January 21. The collection will still take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 22 GCS offices across the state, including 15 in Metro Atlanta.
Dr. Wendy Hawke Lenz, GCS COO, said, “We felt this delay would be in everyone’s best interest. We want to be sure people both working at the event and bringing donations to the event are safe, and we also hope this can be the best Totes 2 Tots year yet. Waiting for weather to improve should help us to achieve both goals.”
Totes 2 Tots delivers new or nearly new backpacks and kid-sized suitcases to foster children in Georgia—from infants to teenagers—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 more than 22,000 bags. The 2010 event amassed more than 4,200 bags. Originally held on Martin Luther King Day as a way to honor Dr. King’s vision and give back to the community, Totes is now held on the Friday before MLK Day as a kickoff to a weekend of service.
GCS President and interim CEO Dr. J. Bancroft Lesesne said, “Totes 2 Tots captures the spirit of Georgia Cancer Specialists and our practice-wide commitment to helping others. By hosting the event to launch the Martin Luther King weekend, we believe that we honor Dr. King’s dream as we provide tangible reminders to the foster children in our state that someone cares about them.”
To participate, simply drop off a new or nearly new bag Friday, January 21, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the nearest Georgia Cancer Specialists office. 22 GCS offices will participate in this year’s drive, including Alpharetta, Athens, Blairsville, Blue Ridge, Canton, Cobb, Cumming, Eastside, Fayetteville, Griffin, Gwinnett, Hillandale, Johns Creek, Kennestone, Macon, Milledgeville, Northside, Oconee, Rockdale, Stemmer (Decatur), Stockbridge, and the Verre Centre GCS Administrative Annex (Atlanta). Visit www.gacancer.com or call 1-877-716-CARE (2273) for office addresses. Totes 2 Tots is also on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/Totes2Tots.
GCS partners with the Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) to distribute the bags in the counties in which they’re collected.
Katherine Herren, DFCS Deputy Director said, “The Department of Human Services/DFCS is grateful for this initiative which has truly been wonderful for our kids in care over the last eight years! Because of the generosity of the community, we were able to honor our graduating youth in foster care by presenting those off to college with new three-piece luggage sets. The appreciation from the youth was indescribable! On behalf of Commissioner Walker and DFCS, thank you for caring enough to continue with the spirit of Dr. King and his dream!”
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 seventh 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.
Georgia Cancer Specialists is a Top 10 private cancer practice in the U.S. and a leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. The practice supports more than 200,000 patient visits each year. GCS offers community-based medical oncology and hematology services and is the first private oncology practice to also provide a full range of support services for patients in Georgia, including nutritional counseling, pain management, wellness counseling, and home health coordination. The GCS research department, whose focus is bringing targeted cancer therapy to communities, is the first in Georgia to offer Phase I clinical trials, the most novel cancer therapies available. GCS has 29 offices, 44 physicians, and more than 500 support staff members located in Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia, Southeast Tennessee, and Southwest North Carolina. Georgia Cancer Specialists can be found on the web at www.gacancer.com. GCS is The Cancer Answerâ.
For more information, visit www.gacancer.com, www.facebook.com/Totes2Tots, or call 1-877-716-CARE (2273).