Heart Gallery NYC encourages foster care

Former Acting Borough President Earl Brown declared April 20, 2009 Heart Gallery NYC Day, in honor of the Bronx debut of the not-for-profit that helps foster children find permanent homes through a traveling portrait exhibit. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

A picture is worth a thousand words, but for the children of the Heart Gallery NYC program it may also be worth a thousand possibilities.

On Monday, April 20 the former acting Borough President Earl Brown, celebrated the Bronx debut of Heart Gallery NYC, a national project that assists in finding permanent and loving homes for children in foster care.

“As a child I remember a safe and comforting home and the dread and anxiety at the thought of losing it,” said Brown. “For a child in foster care that dread is a constant feeling. These children are in need of and deserve a permanent home with parents that love and care for them. I want to encourage Bronxites and people across New York City to care for a child in foster care.”

The not-for-profit organization uses volunteer celebrity photographers to take portraits of the children, capturing their best qualities for all to view. The photos are put on display, along with a short description of the children, in traveling exhibits.

With over 17,000 foster children living in New York City, this project is aimed not only at finding caring homes, but educating people on the foster care system and importance of a nurturing family and support in a young persons life.

“Taking the photograph made me feel special,” said Aisha. “It’s like when you see kids on television walk in and say ‘Mom, dad, I’m home,’ I want that. I want to be safe and secure and to have a family.”

In a Bronx recruitment initiative known as ‘A Home for Kids,’ Heart Gallery NYC is partnering with the Catholic Guardian Society and Home Bureau, a human service agency that has been assisting children, families, and persons with disabilities for over 100 years.

“We are excited for this collaborative effort and at the chance to educate people of the Bronx on foster care,” said Ann McCabe, assistant director of services for CGSHB. “As a resident of the Bronx I know the families of the Bronx can meet this challenge.”

In honor of the debut, Brown proclaimed April 20 Heart Gallery Day in the Bronx. The children also received Yankee tickets for the Saturday, April 18 game and a trip to the Bronx Zoo for tours and a chance to be photographed.

The exhibit will be at the Bronx Borough President’s Art Gallery, 851 Grand Concourse, Room 301, hrough Monday, June 15. Through Friday, May 15 daily recruitment tables will display portraits at the Concourse Plaza, located 200-238 E. 161st Street.

For more information call (212) 965-8699 or visit www.heartgallerynyc.org.

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