During this November’s Adoption Awareness month, the Heart Gallery NYC kicked off an incredible exhibit showcasing the beautiful faces of children from New York foster care who are available for adoption and hoping to find loving “forever families” Utilizing the talents of celebrity and award-winning photographers, the children, ranging in age from 8 years old to 18, had the opportunity to participate in a one of a kind photography experience that could capture their true spirit. The event was produced in collaboration with Casey Family Programs and ACSwww.casey.org; www.nyc.gov/html/acs.
Heart Gallery, NYC is a unique not-for-profit organization that combines the artistic talents of notable photographers with children in need of families and a place to call home. The project is dedicated to raising awareness of children living in foster care and encourages New Yorkers to make a difference in the life of a child.
At the event held at the Times Square Visitors Center, all the incredible images were brought to life in massive billboard style photos that will be exhibited throughout the five boroughs – stopping first at Penn Station where it will be displayed from November 11-18 in the Amtrak Rotunda. Additionally, Clearchannel, the organization’s Heart of Gold sponsor will display the gallery photos in Times Square as well as billboards in the tri-state area.
Laurie Sherman Graff, the Executive Director for the Heart Gallery NYC event spoke about the importance of helping foster children find permanent adoptive families and hopes that the organization’s efforts will continue to raise awareness to these incredible kids.
The organization’s initiatives also include mentoring, internships and scholarships for children who are at risk of aging out of the foster care system without finding a home.
During the event, I got to meet a soft spoken young teenager named Jasmine who told one reporter that she “felt like a star” when she was being photographed. When asked what she hoped would happen from people seeing her photo, Jasmine said “I hope I find a family who will love me.” If that doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, I don’t know what will.
At another point in the evening, rap superstar Darryl McDaniel from Run DMC took to the stage to talk about the moment he found out he was adopted (he first learned the news at age 35) and emphasized the importance of finding adoptive parents for foster kids.
Take a look…
In addition to Penn Station, the pictures will also be showcased in traveling gallery exhibits and via the Internet to reach prospective adoptive parents and encourage them to open their hearts and homes to the children.To find out more about the children featured in the exhibit, visit the Heart Gallery NYC.
(Photo Credit: Linda Grant/NYC Single Mom)