Deb Gordon’s guests were Laurie Sherman Graff, Executive Director of Heart Gallery NYC and Wallace Seay, Director of Family Foster Care Operations at The Catholic Guardian Society and Home Bureau, to spotlight a unique exhibit happening at the Children’s Museum of the Arts during the month of May to commemorate National Foster Care Month. The exhibit will feature portraits of New York City children who are currently in foster care and seeking “forever homes”. Many celebrity photographers volunteered their time and talents to create these compelling images. The hope is that the community will respond to these photos, and be moved to adopt one of the featured children. As one child shared: “I just want to jump into someone’s heart and stay there forever.”
Heart Gallery NYC was founded to help raise awareness about children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted, and uses creative means to help these children realize their dreams of finding permanent, loving adoptive families. The organization also provides services such as mentoring and internships to children who are aging out of foster care. Discussed the importance of the exhibit and the positive effect the photo shoots have on the children who gain confidence and hope from the experience.
The Catholic Guardian Society and Home Bureau operates the second largest foster family program in New York City. Part of the organization’s mission is to affirm the dignity of each person they serve, carry a message of hope to vulnerable persons of all ages, and protect and nurture disadvantaged children. The Society also works to place children into loving homes and offers a variety of services for children in foster care, including residential and support services, as well as services for the developmentally disabled. Discussed were information about children in foster care, including the fact that there are still nearly 13,000 children in New York’s foster care system. Although that number is daunting, the number is down from previous years. Mr. Seay emphasized the continued need for foster care adoptions, and informed the audience about the process of adopting a foster child, and the training that is provided. Mr. Seay encouraged New Yorkers not to shy away from bringing an older foster child into their home and making a positive difference his or her life.
Below are two of the photographs that will be on display at the Museum from May 7th through May 31st. To learn more about the exhibit, and see additional images, visit www.heartgallerynyc.org.
To learn more about helping foster children find “forever families” and permanent homes, visit the Catholic Guardian Society and Home Bureau’s website at www.cgshb.org.
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