Ethan & Teyler Totes holds annual planning meeting for 2013

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

The ladies of Ethan & Teyler Totes met recently to plan the upcoming years events, delivery to hospitals, new fundraising efforts, local families in need, and local locations for collection.

Over the last couple years Ethan & Teyler Totes has touched the lives of hundreds of families. Some with a gentle hug and others with a simple tote gesture that has a huge depth of meaning.

At the last hospital drop off four of the ladies went down with 250 Totes to brighten the lives of little angels fighting for their lives at UCSF and Lucile Packard Children's Hospitals. The ladies were able to personally meet 12 families at UCSF and hand out the Totes.

"Receiving a hug through tears for such a simple gesture pulled at our hearts," Sarah Reback said.

"It was so hard to see those little ones suffering," said Joy Victorine.

"We came to one room where a nurse told us about a tiny baby and I kept saying there is no baby in there," said Dana Barrote. "It was that small -- you could have held it in the palm of one hand."

The feeling from the ladies was simply completely overwhelmed by the strength of these families, the tragedy in suffering of their little ones, and the amazement of what a simple tote brought to these families.

The organization has a big push over the summer for supplies and Sherlock Mini Storage in Fortuna donated a mini storage to make it possible for the group to expand to other hospitals and safely store their supplies.

Ron Alexander of Artistic Legends created 12 T-shirts for the board of Ethan & Teyler Totes to use for fundraising efforts accessory for these hard working moms. Nicole Walters of Fortuna Vinyl Graphics created and donated a banner for the group to use at fundraising and informational functions.

The group is still carrying on the tradition of any individual or business to be able to sponsor a tote for $10. Names and business cards can be attached to totes.

Over the next couple of weeks, look for Hydesville Girl Scout Troop No. 10632 and leader Shawna Owsley, who will be fundraising for Ethan & Teyler Totes in conjunction with cookie sales.

The organization would like the community to know there are three local young children that are currently battling cancer. They have put a challenge out to the community to get 40 people to donate $5, or 20 people to donate $5 to purchase gas and Visa cards for the families to alleviate some of the travel and hotel expense.

For more information about Ethan & Teyler Totes, check out the Facebook page "Ethan & Teyler Totes," or make a donation to P.O. Box 483, Fortuna, CA 95540.

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Board members (left to right) Dana Barrote, Sarah Reback, Joy Victorine, and Jennifer Bailey met recently with other board members to plan the next year of events for Ethan & Teyler Totes.