|"All Children Deserve a Family"|
There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States.
Over 101,000 need adoptive homes right now.
About 25,000 age out of foster care every year, at age 18 without anyone, to live on their own, unprepared and unsupported.
Can you change the life of a waiting child?
Can you adopt? Can you foster? Or maybe you can start a Heart Gallery or volunteer for one?
Source: AFCARS 2014, for fiscal year 2013
What is the Heart Gallery?
The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic and audio exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. The Heart Gallery of America is a collaborative project of over 120 Heart Galleries across the United States designed to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing homes in our community.
Now, in its fourteenth year, the Heart Gallery model is being replicated in many communities across the country. Although many of our children were removed from abusive and neglectful situations, they still have hope. They love to laugh, to learn, and to be with their friends. Most of all, they dream of finding a forever family to be their own.
Photos That Change People's Lives
|Video courtesy of Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay|
Greenville’s Millie Qualls is a viewed as an “Angel” by a national organization because of the work her organization has done to find homes for children and youth lingering in foster care. It’s a status that will become official when Qualls and the South Carolina Heart Gallery are honored as Angel in Adoption during an awards ceremony in October in Washington, D.C. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) will present the award.
The Indiana Heart Gallery, a traveling exhibit featuring portraits of children in need of adoptive families, is stopping in Kokomo. The Gallery will be featured Tuesday through Sept. 30 at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, 220 N. Union St. The Indiana Department of Child Services uses the Heart Gallery’s professional portraits and stories about foster children in Indiana to help put a face on a sometimes invisible need and remind families that adoption can change lives. There is no charge to see the Gallery.
Welcome Heart Gallery Photographers. You are in rare air, as you are part of an elite group of photographers who want to use your craft to help a child in Illinois foster care find a forever family. A Heart Gallery – a safe and secure online gallery of children available for adoption – is important because if you enroll a child in a Heart Gallery he or she has a 50% of being adopted. Otherwise, the chance is 5%. Simply put, your work will increase a child’s chances of being adopted TENFOLD.
Dorothy A. Lund Nelson of Rochester, MN will present the untold history of “Orphan Train Riders,” a historical look at the experiences of orphans from the mid-19th century until the Great Depression. A lively and interactive program, Mrs. Lund Nelson will explain why children traveled across America and describe their experiences on the journey to their new homes. This event also concludes our August display of the “North Dakota Heart Gallery.”
Meet Amanda. She’s been in foster care for as long as she can remember. “Been too long to count.” Amanda is 13, in eighth grade and wants to be a cheerleader in high school and a doctor in the future. “And if I am not a doctor, then maybe a teacher or a therapist…something to help people. So many people have helped me, so why can’t I help them?” Amanda met Dr. Leckey with West Texas Medical Associates on Thursday. She asked him questions about his career and got to learn a thing or two about what he does every day – like check my blood pressure… And checking her pulse.
Yashua was one of 5 children selected by Greenville DSS earlier this year for a “foster care focus group," where partner agencies met to consider any untried ways to step up adoption recruitment. As a result, an older half-sister, Nakia, contacted the DSS Region I adoptions office, as well as responded to Yashua’s Heart Gallery photo & video. Nakia had been looking for Yashua for 10 years, having lost track after his father moved him to SC! Several weeks followed where Nakia and Yashua spoke by phone and shared photos. Eventually, the South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation was able to fund a trip for Nakia to travel from Wisconsin to SC to surprise Yashua (see photo).
The Heart Gallery can be seen August 29, 2015 - January 31, 2016 in the Education Gallery. The Museum is proud to celebrate Heart Gallery Alabama’s 10th anniversary by featuring this exhibition of children searching for loving, permanent families. For reasons beyond their control, they have found themselves living in the Alabama foster care system. Many have passed through several homes, enduring neglect and sometimes violence.
Will, born in July 1999, enjoys sports and physical fitness. He is a big fan of the University of Georgia football team. Will has expressed a desire to play school sports. He struggles academically, but special education services are in place to help him achieve academic success. Will is very motivated to improve his grades. Will’s favorite colors are green, red, and black. He enjoys listening to country music.
The Florida Heart Gallery has come together to create a foundation which focuses on teens who are currently up for adoption. The process includes a personal makeover as well as a photo shoot!
A Barrington Mom hopes photographs of about 1,500 children available for adoption will get out the third method of adoption that no none knows about-From Foster Care!
The state suffers a severe shortage of foster parents everywhere but Northwest Arkansas, a recent study showed. Having just enough, however, doesn't guarantee a home for all the children who need one. "You have to ask yourself every time, 'Is this a good fit?'" said Jeddi Thompson, interim manager for the state Division of Children and Family Services in Northwest Arkansas. "Not every family is trained to handle a special needs child.
In San Antonio, there are some wonderful stories of families stepping in to fill a great need. For instance, there are the contributions of David and Teresa Ebert. Licensed foster parents since 2000, Teresa is a registered nurse who has a big heart for foster children with primary medical needs — vulnerable children who require extra care and attention due to terminal illnesses. The Eberts have fostered more than 30 children over the past 15 years.
Adoption Rhode Island's 10th Annual Heart Gallery will be on exhibit at The Providence Children's Museum through the month of September. The Heart Gallery is a traveling exhibit of professional portraits of children who are in state foster care and awaiting adoption by a forever family.
There are hundreds of children in SC in the foster care system that are legally free for adoption that need permanent, loving homes. The new website, which includes multimedia stories about and by a large number of children waiting to be adopted, also includes the basic steps to adoption and a frequently asked questions (FAQ). Click to view!
Let It Be Us welcomes Connie Going, an Adoption Advocate and Consultant who has changed the lives of children in foster care for over 30 years and has made significant improvements in the foster care system in the State of Florida, to speak at the dinner following our golf outing on September 14th. Connie is an advisor to Let It Be Us and has helped us build our new Heart Gallery – a safe and secure online exhibit of children available for adoption.
Teenagers who age out of the foster care system and need permanent, loving families for life are looking to the community's help. "I'm not going to quit. I'm not a person who gives up," said Brianna, 17, who is looking to get adopted.
Over the past few weeks, foster care has garnered much attention in the North Carolina legislature, with multiple bills that provide greater supports and privileges for children in foster care and for their foster families. While we absolutely should continue to improve the system, we should also be working harder to ensure that the over 2,000 children in North Carolina waiting to be adopted from foster care find loving families of their own. Click to read more...
Ty, born January 1998 is a charming young man. He is quite insightful and has big plans for his future. He would like to go into the army once he graduates. The camaraderie of the unit is what attracts him to enlist. His favorite sport is football and he loves to play video games and hang out with his friends. His favorite food is Pepperoni Pizza and he also loves McDonalds. He has not learned to drive yet but would like the opportunity to take lessons.
Imagine someone coming to your home in the middle of the night, handing you a box the size of a milk crate and telling you to pack whatever you can fit into it — you’re going with them. They take you to a stranger’s house to live, and there’s no telling when you’ll see your family again.
Rosario Dawson made headlines late last year when she adopted a 12-year-old girl. An insider told E! News at the time that the first-time mom was "over the moon" to welcome a daughter, but some people were curious as to why Dawson didn't adopt a baby instead. The 36-year-old actress has yet to talk publicly about the very personal subject, but plenty of other families are opening up about their overwhelmingly positive experiences adopting kids of varying ages from foster care. Per Today, there are more than 100,000 children in foster care still waiting for permanent homes. Fortunately, an increasing number of potential parents are choosing to adopt from foster care.
Cody is a vibrant seven year old who has been bounced around too many times in his short life. He loves racing, golf, and swimming. He has impeccable manners and a zest for life and he's looking for his "Home at Last."
A few shots from the 200 Million Flower's Mississippi Heart Gallery will be shown at The Third Place, a coffee shop in the Getwell Road United Methodist Church in Southaven. This gallery highlights children in MS needing foster care or adoption. Getwell Road is partnering with 200 Million Flowers to create a support team for parents who are considering fostering/adopting. Check out http://www.200millionflowers.org too!
On any given day in Tennessee there are 250+ children like Nicolas and Terrineka who go to bed at night hoping for a family who will accept them and love them. Through no fault of their own these children find themselves living out their formative years in foster home after foster home. You are their hope! You can be the key to helping children like Nicolas and Terrineka find the family that they hope for a deserve. By sharing their stories, making a tax deductible donation, or bringing The Heart Gallery exhibit to your community or church, you can make their dreams come true. Visit our website at www.heartgalleryoftn.com to find out more.
Kala, born January 1998, is a beautiful and smart young lady with a likable personality. She makes friends easily and enjoys having a good time. Kala does well in school academically. She also enjoys playing volleyball and has made the school team for two years. She loves to shop and drive around and is really looking forward to getting her own car in the future. Kayla is open to trying new things.
Before Diane Shaw met her daughter, Breanna, she wasn't sure she was ready to foster a teen. Having become empty nesters after raising four children of their own, Diane and her husband knew they faced "a major life change" in welcoming Breanna and her brother into their home. "I was so nervous… to have two teens in the house I didn't know," Diane recalled. But on Breanna's first visit, any anxieties Diane had about fostering simply melted away.
Check out this group that's making sure foster kids are able to have bikes! Jamie Beringer and Dave Lodder are hoping people cleaning out their garage will think twice before junking their old bicycles. Beringer, of West Chester Township, and Lodder, of Hamilton, recently founded Bicycle Recycle, a fund dedicated to collecting broken, unwanted or unused bikes for the purpose of fixing them up for children in foster care.
The exhibit features photos of 140 of the children in the foster care system – children who are hoping to find a family to adopt them. 63 photographers donated their time to this Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) project. U.P. KIDS, a private non-profit agency providing foster care, adoption, and post-adoption services across the Upper Peninsula, has borrowed the exhibit and the first stop will be Marquette’s Blueberry Festival on July 31. tops include indoor sites at the Luce/West Mackinac County Fair from August 7-9 and the Chippewa County Fair from September 1-7.
The Indiana Heart Gallery, a traveling exhibit featuring portraits of children needing adoptive families, is stopping in Chesterton. The free gallery will be featured July 11 - 25 at the Duneland YMCA, 215 Roosevelt St. The Indiana Department of Childrens Services uses the galleries portraits and stories about foster children to help put a face on a sometimes invisible need.
We have found this program beneficial in finding families for our children. We ask that as you view the children, consider that they live in our communities. Respect their right to privacy, and be aware that they may attend school or church, or play at the local park with your children and relatives. The availability of their pictures leaves our children recognizable and vulnerable to negative attention. Although we strive to protect them, we need your help. Thank you!
© 2015 Heart Gallery of America, Inc.