Georgia Cancer Specialists Sponsors 12th Annual Totes 2 Tots Suitcase Drive for State’s Foster Children

The 12th annual Totes 2 Tots suitcase drive, sponsored by Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) and Northside Hospital, will take place Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Twenty-six GCS offices across Georgia – including 19 in Metro Atlanta – will participate in the drive, which delivers new or nearly new backpacks and kid-sized suitcases to foster children in Georgia.

Approximately 7,500 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 and distributed more than 33,000 bags.

Originally held on Martin Luther King Day as a way to honor Dr. King’s vision and give back to the community, the event is now held on the preceding Friday, to kick-off the weekend of service.

"As the physicians and staff of Georgia Cancer Specialists, we look forward to honoring Dr Martin Luther King's memory for the 12th consecutive year,” said Dr. Cheryl Jones, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer, GCS. “This is the major community service project for GCS and it demonstrates our commitment to the foster children and to their future success in their communities."

To participate, simply drop off a new or nearly new bag Friday, January 17, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the nearest Georgia Cancer Specialists office. Twenty-six GCS offices will participate in this year’s drive, including: .

(*Please note that the Camp Creek and Hawkinsville offices will collect bags earlier in the week: on Thursday, January 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Visit Facebook.com/Totes2Tots, or call 1-877-716-CARE (2273) for more information and office addresses.

GCS partners with Georgia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Family and Children’s Services to distribute the bags in the counties in which they’re collected. DHS Commissioner Keith Horton praised those who support the Totes 2 Tots program, which helps to bring a measure of comfort and respect to Georgia's foster children.

"It may seem insignificant to the rest of us, but for a child whose life is upended, these generous gifts offer some sense of stability in the transition to another home," said Horton. "The Totes 2 Tots program is not just another drive for a material need; it is a program that seeks to provide our state's foster children with a sense of dignity and respect during a difficult time in their lives."

For the 9th year, Totes 2 Tots also is receiving media support from WSB-TV’s Family 2 Family Project. Family 2 Family is the longest-running locally produced, comprehensive, station-wide public service effort in Georgia.

Financial donations may be made securely online at give.northside.com/totes2tots.

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 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, 45 physicians, and more than 500 support staff members located in Metro Atlanta, and North and Central Georgia. Georgia Cancer Specialists can be found on the web at www.gacancer.com GCS is The Cancer Answer.

Georgia Cancer Specialists is a national leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. GCS’s 45 physicians provide care in 26 Northside Hospital Cancer Institute locations across Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia. GCS is The Cancer Answer®.

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