New backpacks, fresh markers, pens and pencils, and all of the things that kids need for school fill the offices of Green Mountain United Way thanks to donations from local businesses and organizations. Tatum’s Totes provides foster children with a new backpack full of basic items such as socks and toothbrushes, hair care products, and school and art supplies upon leaving home and going into a new one. Often, these are the only items they have when they arrive at their new foster homes. Green Mountain United Way has given out over 300 backpacks in the last year to children going into foster care as well as many holiday gifts gathered by many of the same donors to the school supply drive. Beginning in July, volunteers from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont; VSECU; Hickok and Boardman; Central Vermont Home, Health, and Hospice; Vermont Mutual Insurance; and others, alerted friends and co-workers to the growing need at Green Mountain United Way for school supplies, backpacks, personal care items, and more for children and teens going into emergent foster care. Visit gmunitedway.org for more information or to donate online.