Thanks to a strong outpouring of support from the community, the 13th annual totes 2 tots suitcase drive, sponsored by Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) and Northside Hospital, was a huge success. More than 4,450 backpacks, suitcases and other bags were donated at GCS offices across Georgia which began the weekend of Jan 15 –17. GCS partners with Georgia’s Division of Family and Children’s Services, which distributed the bags to Georgia’s foster children who need them.
“This was our biggest, most successful totes 2 tots drive, ever,” said Dr. Cheryl Jones, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer, GCS. “Year after year, a totes 2 tots allows us to demonstrate our commitment to the foster children in our state and invest in their futures. I am grateful to the community, our volunteers and everyone who contributed to the success of this event.”
Approximately 8,500 children, from infants to teenagers, are currently in the foster care system in Georgia. Many of these children shuffle their belongings in garbage bags when they are removed from their homes. Since totes 2 tots was first launched in 2003, the annual volunteer event has collected approximately 42,000 bags.
Bobby Cagle, interim director of DFCS, praised those who support the program, which helps to bring a measure of comfort and respect to Georgia’s foster children. “There are some children in our state who, unfortunately, have few constants in their lives,” said, Cagle. “totes 2 tots program, by providing a piece of luggage to those children whose lives have been upended, offers a sense of stability in a time of uncertainty.”
For the 10th year, totes 2 tots received media support from WSB-TV’s Family 2 Family Project, the longest-running locally produced, comprehensive, station-wide public service effort in Georgia. Cox Media Group’s Atlanta radio stations B98.5, Kiss 104.1, 97.1 The River, and News/Talk WSB on 95.5 FM and 750 AM also provided generous support.
Approximately $500.00 in financial contributions also were made to totes 2 tots. The money will be used to purchase additional bags to meet the state’s need.
For more information about totes 2 tots, visit facebook.com/totes2tots.