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Northside Hospital seeking backpacks, suitcases for foster children
Totes Volunteers WEB
Volunteers bring hundreds of collected backpacks to a Georgia Cancer Specialist drop off location during the Totes 2 Tots 2016 drive. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

FORSYTH COUNTY -- An area suitcase and bag drive is helping to give foster children a better way to move their belongings.

On Friday from 10 a.m.-2 pm., Georgia Cancer Specialists and Northside Hospital will be accepting new or nearly new backpacks, duffel bags and suitcases for foster children in Georgia for the 15th annual Totes 2 Tots drive. Donations can be mode locally at 1505 Northside Boulevard Suite 4300.

More than 13,000 children of all ages are in foster care in the state and many use garbage bags to move their belongings when they are removed from homes.

“The Totes 2 Tots program allows foster children the ability to transport their belongings with a sense of dignity,” said Bobby Cagle, director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. “By providing backpacks and luggage, the program offers a sense of stability during a time of uncertainty.”

The program was initially held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day “as a way to honor Dr. King’s vision of philanthropy and give back to the community” and has collected and distributed more than 48,000 bags since 2003.

“Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly;’ that is why the [GCS] physicians and staff take pride in celebrating his memory by participating in Totes 2 Tots for the 15th consecutive year,” said Dr. Cheryl Jones, vice president and chief medical officer at GCS.

For more information and drop-off sites outside the county, go to FB.com/totes2tots.

Online donations can be made at Give.Northside.com/totes2tots.