Georgia Cancer Specialists and Northside Hospital are hosting the 16th annual “totes 2 tots” drive to collect backpacks and suitcases for foster children in Georgia.
Donations of new or nearly new backpacks, duffel bags and suitcases will be accepted at locations across the state on Friday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., including Cumming, Alpharetta and Johns Creek.
More than 13,000 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. “totes 2 tots” aims to change that by giving every foster child in Georgia a new or nearly new backpack, duffel bag or suitcase. Since “totes 2 tots” launched in 2003, the annual volunteer event has collected and distributed more than 55,000 bags.
GCS and Northside Hospital partner with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services to distribute the bags in the counties in which they’re collected.
Virginia Pryor, 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.
“The ‘totes 2 tots’ program allows foster children the ability to transport their belongings with a sense of dignity,” said Pryor. “By providing backpacks and luggage, the program offers a sense of stability during a time of uncertainty.”