Nov. 14, 2006 – Professional photographers from across Georgia are using their cameras to help raise awareness about the thousands of foster children hoping for a permanent home and family. These museum-quality photos will be unveiled November 18 at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. November 18 is also National Adoption Day and Family Volunteerism Day.
Through a program from Gift for a Child called the Heart Gallery Southeast™, Georgia professional photographers spent several months donating their time to create portraits of foster children waiting to be adopted. Many of these photographers typically spend time photographing celebrities, corporate executives and others for newspapers, magazines, album covers and similar media.
Seeing these photos of children can be a moving experience, especially for potential adoptive parents. Often gallery attendees see something in a particular child’s photograph that connects with them, and many times that first connection leads to a lifelong relationship. Gift for a Child launched its first Heart Gallery exhibit in May at the Concourse. Thirty-seven of the 100 children featured in the Heart Gallery Georgia are now headed towards adoption.
“We are thrilled to include these beautiful portraits during the run of “Little Hands…Big Difference”, said Jane Turner, executive director of Imagine It! “There is a natural connection during this unique exhibit on community service to provide an opportunity for families visiting the Museum to visually meet and learn about the lives of children impacted by foster care.”
“Currently, more than 14,000 children in Georgia are in foster care. Many of these children are waiting to be adopted and are between the ages of 5 and 17,” explained Pamela A. Joseph, chairman of the board, Gift for a Child. “We are hoping that Heart Gallery exhibits hosted by local businesses and the corporate community will motivate more families to adopt a child from foster care.”
In addition to her board responsibilities at Gift for a Child, Joseph is the chief executive officer at Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems. The company is involved with many initiatives supporting children and is the premier sponsor of Gift for a Child/Heart Gallery programs in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina.
There are approximately 523,000 foster care children in the United States, and 118,000 of them are waiting for adoption. Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has nearly doubled, and the average time a child remains in foster care has lengthened to nearly three years. Each year, many of these children in foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a permanent family.
The Heart Gallery Georgia exhibit closed at Bank of America Plaza in midtown last month and can be seen at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta beginning November 18, 2006. In Tennessee, a similar Gift for a Child exhibit of foster children recently ended a 9-city preview tour.
About Gift For A Child, Inc.
Gift for a Child Inc. is a non-profit organization focused on raising awareness and finding permanent homes for children needing a family, a home and a future. The organization works with child welfare agencies, businesses, schools and churches to bring the community closer to the reality that there are thousands of children who need help finding a family they can call their own. For more information about Gift for a Child, go to www.giftforachild.org.
About The Heart Gallery Southeast
The Heart Gallery Southeast is an adoption recruitment program of Gift for a Child, Inc. designed to raise awareness and educate the community concerning the urgent need for foster and adoptive families, especially boys and girls for whom finding forever families is more difficult: sibling groups, special needs, minority and older children.
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