During the month of August, Trinity Church is hosting the Heart Gallery of the South Plains. This program provides a collection of portraits of foster children in our area who are in need of adoption.
Karen Tipton is the Adoption Program Specialist for Child Protective Services. She says our region has around 400 children looking for families every single day.
"The idea was launched so that these children are given a chance to be seen as children and not just kiddos that have a history of abuse and neglect," Tipton said. "These are kiddos that like Spider-Man or play soccer or love meat balls and spaghetti. They are just like kiddos that you have next door and that yours go to school with."
Local professional photographers volunteer their time to take portraits of the children. There is a profile of each child above their photo.
"It does make our children real," she said. "It does give them a spirit and a smile that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to show folks."
Tipton says since the gallery's inception seven years ago, the number of adoptions in our region have doubled. Some of the children in the gallery this year have already found a family.
"We put a little sign on there that says an adoptive family has been chosen, and when they go to court we present the family with this portrait for them to keep," she said.
Trinity is providing an opportunity for their congregation to help out in ways other than adoption.
"They are asked to bring backpacks and supplies for our foster kids and support staff," she said. "They are just doing a lot of special things for the Heart Gallery children and for all the children in foster care."
The gallery is open every day through August.
Weekdays: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturdays: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sundays: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The gallery can be viewed online here.
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