Celebrity photographers help Children find homes

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100 ‘HEART GALLERY’ portraits of foster children will be on exhibit at Times Square Visitor's Center on November 10th to highlight National Adoption Month.

100 ‘Heart Gallery" portraits of foster children will be on exhibit at Times Square Visitor's Center on November 10th to highlight National Adoption Month.  The exhibition tells visual stories of  foster children in an effort to find “Forever Families.”   The Heart Gallery NYC will present an exhibition of 100 portraits of foster children who are available for adoption at a grand opening reception during National Adoption Month.  Portraits of the youth, many of whom are sibling groups hoping to be adopted together, teens and children with special needs, will be unveiled in an effort to find “forever families” for them.

The exhibition, which kicks off on Wednesday, November 10 at the Times Square Visitors Center, is a partnership between Heart Gallery NYC, New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the foundation Casey Family Programs.
 
Heart Gallery NYC is a non-profit organization that recruits some of the nation’s finest photographers—including Martin Schoeller, Barbara Bordnick and Howard Schatz, renowned for their work photographing celebrities—to volunteer to take portraits that capture the individuality of each child. The photographs are then showcased in a traveling exhibit and via the Heart Gallery website to reach prospective adoptive parents. Thousands of children have found adoptive homes through the group, which has more than 100 chapters throughout the United States and Canada and enjoys the support of celebrity adoptive parents or adoptees such as Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen Burstyn.
 
“We’re hoping to build on the success of the 2007 Heart Gallery NYC Inaugural Exhibit, which raised awareness to millions, garnered thousands of inquiries from prospective adoptive parents and helped many children find permanent homes,” said Heart Gallery NYC Executive Director Laurie Sherman Graff. “Working with ACS, Casey Family Programs and the venues that have again stepped up to display the exhibit, we are poised to help even more young people find their forever families.”
 
“The Administration for Children’s Services is thrilled to work with the Heart Gallery NYC on their innovative approach to helping find caring adults who can provide a loving home to children available for adoption,” said ACS Commissioner John Mattingly. “Currently ACS has close to 700 children waiting to be adopted into permanent homes and efforts such as the Heart Gallery NYC are invaluable.”
 
“We believe that every child in America deserves a safe and permanent home,” said David Sanders, executive vice president for systems improvement at Casey Family Programs. “We are proud to support Heart Gallery NYC in telling visual and compelling stories that can help children find a place with loving and lifelong families.”
 
The invitation-only grand opening reception will include foster children seeking adoption, prospective adoptive families, adoption agency staff and officials. On November 11, the exhibit moves to the Amtrak Rotunda in Penn Station, the busiest transportation hub in the United States, where it remains through November 18. From there it will tour high-traffic venues, such as airports, museums and malls, in all five boroughs throughout 2011. The children’s portraits will also be posted on the Heart Gallery’s website, www.heartgallerynyc.org. Supporters of Heart Gallery NYC include Clear Channel, HSBC and the Times Square Alliance. Some of the local businesses who have contributed to the grand opening reception include Pop Burger, Ronnel’s Catering and Century21.
 
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 lives of children by providing them forever homes.
 
The New York City Administration for Children's Services protects New York City's children from abuse and neglect. Along with our community partners, Children's Services provides neighborhood-based services to help ensure children grow up in safe, permanent homes with strong families. To learn more go to www.nyc.gov/acs.
 
Casey Family Programs is the nation's largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system. Founded in 1966, Casey Family Programs works to provide and improve—and ultimately prevent the need for—foster care in the United States. As a champion for change, Casey Family Programs has committed to its 2020 Strategy for America's Children—a goal to safely reduce the number of children in foster care and improve the lives of those who remain in care. The foundation, established by United Parcel Service founder, Jim Casey, is based in Seattle. Learn more at www.casey.org.
 

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