CUMMING — The holiday season is not the only time children are in need of basic items and necessities.
Georgia Cancer Specialists and Northside Hospital are collecting backpacks and suitcases for foster children in Georgia during their 14th annual Totes 2 Tots campaign.
Donations of newly or nearly new backpacks and suitcases will be accepted from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today at all Georgia Cancer Specialists locations.
More than 11,600 children, from infants to teenagers, are currently in the foster care system in Georgia. Many of these children have to shuffle their belongings in garbage bags when they are removed from a home.
Since Totes 2 Tots launched in 2003, the annual volunteer event has collected and distributed more than 41,000 bags.
The campaign was originally held on Martin Luther King Day as a way to honor his vision of philanthropy and give back to the community. However, it is now held on the preceding weekend to kick off a weekend of service in King’s honor.
“We look forward to honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s memory for the 14th consecutive year,” said Cheryl Jones, vice president and chief medical officer of Georgia Cancer Specialists. “Through this project we have demonstrated our commitment to support the foster children of Georgia in achieving successful futures in the community.”
Georgia Cancer Specialists works with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services to distribute the bags in the counties in which they are collected.
Bobby Cagle, director of DFCS, praised those who support the program, which helps bring a measure of comfort and respect to the recipient foster children.
“There are some children in our state who, unfortunately, have few constants in their lives,” Cagle said. “The 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.”
To find participating locations, visit gacancer.com or facebook.com/totes2tots or call (877) 716-2273.
Tax deductible financial donations may be made securely online at give.northside.com/totes2tots.