The Heart Gallery of Central Texas is a portrait exhibit and community education/outreach initiative featuring children in the foster care system who are waiting for adoption. We work to find forever families for children through direct recruitment opportunities and education of foster and adoptive families. At the core of this outreach is a simple picture. But, it's anything but simple. Our volunteer photographers capture a child's spirit in every shot, bringing to life their beautiful personalities in ways that words cannot. They say, "I'm here. And I'm special."
Each day, more than 900 children in Central Texas wait for a family and a place to call home. On average, they will move seven different times before leaving foster care.
We feature approximately 200 children annually in The Heart Gallery and our greatest joy comes when we receive an email from a caseworker to remove a child from the gallery due to an "adoptive placement." A majority of children featured in our gallery are older, sibling groups, or children with special needs - often referred to as forgotten children - who might need a bit of extra effort to find a forever family.
After a child is photographed, their portrait is exhibited around Central Texas: in local business, churches, and public spaces to bring attention to their need for a loving home.
Thankfully, this program has been incredibly successful. Nationwide, the chance of these harder-to-place children finding a forever family was less than 1% a few years ago.
Today, in Central Texas, that number has surpassed 60% — and continues to grow.