Tatum's Totes brings holiday cheer to over 250 children in foster care

Vermont Business Magazine Holiday lights, candles, family traditions, cookies, snuggling with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a holiday movie - these are all wonderful images of the holiday season we wish all children could enjoy. Sadly though, for many children, this time of year is a time of uncertainty and sometimes scarcity of not just things - but hope.

Each year, Tatum’s Totes brings holiday joy to foster children throughout Northern and Central Vermont through the Green Mountain United Way with the help of local businesses like Hickok and Boardman and Union Mutual Insurance; the Barre Rotary Club; the Rotaract group through Norwich University; as well as local churches like the First Congregational Church of Berlin; Bible Baptist Church, and the Warren United Church.

Many individuals contributed after hearing on Facebook from Executive Director, Tawnya Kristen, that more children needed sponsors urgently than the Green Mountain United Way knew of at first.

“I went on my personal Facebook page and just posted that we had about 25 or so kids who still needed sponsors, and the response just from my friends was overwhelming. We then made a whole group called #TeamLove is becoming a regular group devoted to helping out Tatum’s Totes and our local foster kids throughout the year,” Tawnya said.

This year, over 250 individual Vermont foster children received a gift bag filled with essential items like fuzzy socks and warm blankets, but also games and toys, hair care products, craft kits, and other items that say, “You are loved.”

Tatum’s Totes is a program managed by the Green Mountain United Way throughout the year, bringing backpacks filled with school supplies, personal items, and a book or game - or both!

Whether it’s the family of a working single mother who is facing the choice of providing a few Christmas gifts for their children or another fill up of heating oil in order to get through the winter, or a foster child being sent with their belongings in a garbage bag to a new home, right before the holidays, the Green Mountain United Way works everyday to bring support, care, and hope to struggling families in Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, Orange, and Washington counties.

Source: BARRE, VT - Green Mountain United Way 12.16.2021