Become a Volunteer Photographer of Foster Youth

A Family For Every Child's Heart Gallery is designed to bring awareness to the foster care system and children that are in search of permanent homes. We are constantly in need of professional photographers from across the country willing to volunteer their time to take beautiful pictures of children presently in foster care that are waiting for their forever family. A Family For Every Child's Heart Gallery works closely with child welfare partners to coordinate these photo sessions for the purpose of adoption recruitment. For more information about what the Heart Gallery Program, click here.

The Heart Galleries can be seen everywhere: from the grocery store to your church to the car dealership and everywhere in between. The goal of our Heart Gallery is simple-to-open the mind and heart of the viewer to the idea of adoption.

By signing up as a volunteer photographer, you are put on a mailing list to be alerted in a child in your area needs their photo taken. In return, A Family For Every Child promises to recognize the photographer on the AFFEC website, to update the photographer when the children they've photographed have been adopted, and to provide the photogrpaher with a high-resolution .jpg of the AFFEC logo for use on their website. A Family For Every Child is a 501(c)non-profit organization. Your entire donation is tax deductible.

How to join

Step 1: Complete the forms listed on our Volunteer Page, indicating your interest in becoming a volunteer photographer for the Heart Gallery.

Step 2: Read through the New Photographer Packet, which contains a welcome letter, general procedures, tips and guidelines, and photo requirements.

Step 3: Once we are notified that a foster child is in need of a photograph, we'll email any volunteer photographers in their region. If you're available to take the photo, the child's caseworker will coordinate with you to find a date and time for the photo session. During a photo session, you will never be left alone with the child.

Step 4: Once the child finds a forever home, you'll be notified that a child you've photographed has been adopted.

Tips for Photographers

  1. Please remember that you cannot transport the youth and/or their representatives. 
  2. You should not communicate with the youth prior to or after the photography session without the approval of their caseworker. You will coordinate your involvement with this youth through an authorized adult. 
  3. Be respectful of each child and worth of their trust, make them feel special. 
  4. If you feel the need to pose a child, always ask permission before you touch them.
  5. Do not ask the child why they came into foster care or any other personal details of their lives.
  6. Feel free to ask them about their interests, their hobbies. Many children open up when talking about things they are passionate about.
  7. These kids will blossom under a heavy dose of praise--let them know when they are doing well--offer encouragement--make the time together fun!
  8. For the safety of both you and the children, you are never allowed to be alone with any of the children you photograph. A caseworker, foster parent, or adult caretaker must be within line of sight and earshot of you and the child at all times.

Contact Information

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the contact information below.

Volunteer Coordinator
A Family For Every Child
541.343.2856
877.343.2856
Fax: 541-343-2866
photos@afamilyforeverychild.org

How to Start a Heart Gallery

Cooperation

  • Recruit social workers to help you choose children for the project. Not all children are comfortable participating in the Heart Gallery.
  • Recognize team members’ best skills. If one member is good at networking and another at editing, assign tasks accordingly.
  • Reach out for help from within the local community.
  • Recommend that foster parents and social workers will help prepare children for, and support them during, the project.
  • Request the input of others; it makes them feel more involved and invested, and may help you do your job better. Ask others for contacts and referrals.
  • Rally those involved! Keep everyone informed on the progress and outcome of the event.

Contributions

  • Locate your exhibit venue by promoting the public relations benefits of the exhibit (the venue is named in ads and media coverage). The venue does not have to be a gallery. All you need is ample and attractive space, easy access, and plenty of parking.
  • Lead your request with your most professional or captivating portraits. They inspire people to donate and can be scanned for use in press releases, print ads, and other materials.
  • Link with prospective donors via a faxed request, phone call, or personal visit and be specific about what you’re requesting.
  • Laud sponsors in writing and at the event.

Coverage

  • Take time to locate a media guide that lists your state’s press contacts.
  • Tailor your request to each media source. A good “hook” is an interview with someone who has/was adopted, or is otherwise sympathetic to child welfare issues. Establish contact early so you have time to build interest.
  • Target several children who can serve as “spokeskids.” They should be able to interact with reporters and photojournalists and speak briefly at the event.
  • Think national and local. One can often lead to the other.
  • Tell radio stations and television stations about the event. Some may give you free time to talk, especially if you purchase some advertising spots and show producers the portraits’ artistic and human appeal.

Celebrities

  • Go through proper channels. Call the Screen Actors Guild at 323-954-1600 for contact information (agents, managers, etc.). Celebrities who live in the area near the event are most likely to attend.
  • Gather celebrities who have a reputation for being involved with nonprofit organizations or who have a connection with children’s issues, especially adoption or foster care.
  • Generate a request letter to tell the contact about your organization, the purpose of the event, and exactly what will be asked of the celebrity. Fax the letter to the celebrity contact.
  • Grant the celebrity permission to speak or perform. Plan for adequate space and refreshments to accommodate your expected audience. Although including a celebrity involves more work, it can increase your event’s visibility in the eyes of the public and the press.

Sample print material (Acrobat PDF format)

If you have further questions about starting a Heart Gallery please see contacts listed from other states.

Featured Heart Gallery

While out doing your shopping stop by the food court and take a look at our Heart Gallery! Just click the QR code located on each child’s biography to learn more about each child’s personality and interests. You may be the perfect match!

Heart Gallery
Heart Gallery

Social Worker Info

Professional Portraits Taken Nationwide

Knowing how important a good photo is to recruitment, AFFEC is now offering free, professional photos for child bulletins. We are committed to a fast photography process and promise to begin coordinating the photo session upon receiving the photo request. We have a large list of Oregon photographers but have increased our photography volunteers to spread throughout each state. We provide this service nationally. As soon as we receive the .jpg images from the photographer we will email them to the caseworker for their use and then will continue with the recruitment process as the referral form specifies. Ready to refer a child? Please fill out the referral form, and we'll reach out to you as soon as we can.

Heart Galleries

The Heart Gallery exhibits portraits of current foster children to raise awareness of the needs of waiting children. Professional photographers volunteer to take compelling portraits showcased in the Heart Galleries, which are then displayed in high-traffic areas across Lane County alongside the child's bio and a link to their listing. These beautifully framed and matted portraits then get displayed along with the children’s biographies in various venues. On average, we receive over 50 inquiries per week about these children. DHS foster/adoption orientation class size, adoption inquiries, and general applicants to DHS have more than doubled since the inception of the Heart Gallery. For more information about the Heart Gallery, please click here.

How To Prepare Your Child For A Photo Session

  1. Does your child understand that you are searching for their forever family?
  2. Discuss the purpose of the Heart Gallery.
  3. Show the child examples of other children's photographs and bios.
  4. Talk about what the child likes and dislikes about various recruitment methods.
  5. Are there specific areas your child does not want to see their photos?
  6. If age appropriate, allow your child to give input into what is said in their bio and allow them to choose their favorite photos.

Child Biographies

When a child's photo is displayed at a local Heart Gallery, it is accompanied with a brief biography of the child. If you do not include a brief biography alongside your submission, one will be provided for you by AFFEC.

When writing a biography, please try to limit the character count to a maximum of 700 characters. A child's biography should highlight their personality, favorite hobbies, plans for the future, hopes and dreams, and what type of household would be best suited for them. Here are a list of sample questions that can help form a child's biography:

  • What are your favorite subjects in school?
  • What activities do you enjoy?
  • What does your dream day look like?
  • What makes you laugh?
  • What do you like most about yourself?
  • What is your dream job?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is your favorite time of year? 

Business Advocate Program

About the Program

We are offering an opportunity to be a part of the Heart Gallery of Lane County in a simple way. All we are asking is your willingness to find some space for us. We are designing and providing the set-up for custom displays according to each child’s interests in hope that your customers will consider adopting these children into their lives. Displays can include pictures, DVD loops, items representing the child’s interests and informational materials. They can range from a single easel to an entire storefront window display. Do you have room in your store and your heart to give a child a chance?

Advocate for Children

Take on a special commitment to advocate for one particular child, sibling group or small group of children with similar interests or ages. You don’t have to make a financial commitment, just an emotional commitment to show this child in a positive light in your place of business. We ask for a commitment of a month per display.

Example Galleries

Valley River Center did a store front with 2 boys that loved sports, we surrounded them with sports gear and signage.

Dr. David Matthews has a single easel with a portrait, signage and brochures.

Gateway Mall highlighted a group of 4 girls, all in the 9-12 age group, in a kiosk. We then surrounded them with pink and yellow toys.

Involve your place of business in mentoring

We will come and speak to your group or business and return for training of dedicated employees that would like to make a difference.
  • Teach a skill to our mentor youth, or a class of them.
  • Sponsor a child’s portrait for a year. You will receive notices as your child is placed and another enters your sponsored frame.
  • We are always in need of in-kind donations for our venues and opening.
  • Give your employees time to be a mentor!
  • Inserts in company hand-outs or newsletters
  • Join our special recruitment effort and be a business advocate for a waiting child.
  • Your business takes on a special commitment to advocate for one particular child.
  • Display a portrait of one child in your business or store window we will provide materials that allow you to direct people as to where they can get more information about adopting this child.

How will my business be recognized?

All of our business partners will be recognized on our website, on items that have been donated, at exhibits when appropriate and on our program for our annual “Opening” every November (National Adoption Month). Our Business Venues and Business Advocates are listed on our Monthly Newsletter Welcome Bullitins, and our “Found a Forever Family” Bulletin Our Portrait Sponsors will be recognized on a portrait with a gold plaque

Contact Us

If you are a case worker wanting to exhibit a professional photo of a child in a heart gallery please fill out our referral form.

Featured Gallery! Click Here to Host a Gallery A Family For Every Child 1675 West 11th Avenue Eugene, Oregon 97402 (541)-343-2856 photos@afamilyforeverychild.org

Heart Gallery Locations

The Heart Gallery is only able to exist thanks to the generosity of our amazing community donors, sponsors, and partners. We are proud to offer Heart Galleries at over 20 locations across Lane County. Learn more about hosting a Heart Gallery at your business here.

Heart Gallery

What is the Heart Gallery?

A Family For Every Child's Heart Gallery Program displays a rotating group of photos from current, waiting foster children at prominent, public locations throughout Lane County.

A child's photo is often the leading factor in a prospective family choosing to adopt a child. However, the majority of photos taken of foster children are dull, lifeless, and taken in a caseworker's office. The Heart Gallery features photos of kids in settings beyond the walls of an office or school: playing outside, having fun, and being kids.

By featuring the photos of these adoptable foster children, we are able to not only provide additional recruitment options and advertising for the kids themselves, but give a face and name to a much larger systemic issue in our nation's foster system. 

A Family For Every Child has over 20 active Heart  Gallery displays across Lane County at any given time. The Heart Gallery is a grassroots project that requires the support of the community to thrive. We are honored to partner with dozens of local businesses to bring awareness to the plight of America's forgotten foster children.

More information about having your foster child featured in a Heart Gallery can be found here.

“I love the Heart Gallery. When I worked at Market Of Choice they had pictures there. One day this little girl was sitting on her dad’s shoulders and he pointed to the photos and said, “Your picture used to be right there – I had told you I found you in a grocery store.” And the girl started laughing and smiled at the wall. That about broke my heart in a happy way, I almost cried. That’s why I love the Heart Gallery.”  –Community Member

Our Venues

Our amazing venues are local businesses and organizations who strive to make a difference in their community. Our photos decorate the walls of shopping malls, grocery stores, medical offices, repair shops, and more. A Heart Gallery display consists of between one to thirty framed photos, displayed on walls, easels, hallways, or display cases. A complete list of our current venues can be found here.

Our Photographers

Thanks to the amazing dedication of our photography partners across the country, we are able to offer foster children the chance to have their photo taken professionally, in a setting they feel comfortable in. Thank you so much to all of our outstanding photographers, we can't overstate our appreciation of your dedication and generosity. More information about becoming a Heart Gallery Photographer can be found here.

Oregon

  • Lisa Lamping
  • Louie Law
  • Kim Adams
  • Kelly Goff
  • David Dornbusch
  • Kevin Clark
  • Haley Graham
  • Kianna Ober
  • Janet Kiesse
  • Naomi Levit
  • Corrina Welding
  • Bruce Berg
  • Richard Roman
  • Livia Fremouw
  • Richard May
  • Judi Lamb
  • Paula Goodbar
  • Jay Schwartz
  • Wendy Gregory
  • Michael Ober
  • Julie Chase
  • Thomas Boyd
  • Brandi George
  • Ben Vallejos
  • Greg Hill
  • Ron Quinlan
  • Erica Bader
  • Glenda Carter
  • Alicia Dickerson
  • Amy West
  • Colleen Cahill
  • Dulce Phelps
  • Diane Inskeep
  • Thomas Patterson

Washington

  • Jean Mazac
  • Dean Johnson
  • Lorie Weldon
  • Heidi Swoboda
  • Karen Mullen
  • Valerie Bowlick-Terrell
  • Jennifer Wohrle
  • Sally Honeycutt
  • Amber Hickman
  • Kelli Hodges
  • Aly Medina
  • Alyssa Rose Evans
  • Mary Balmaceda
  • Wenmei Hill
  • Tara Malouf
  • Nikki Belyea
  • Karl Schraml, KX2 Studios
  • Doreen Michaels
  • Meg Borders
  • Bunn Salarzon
  • Roseann Endres
  • Lynette Smith

Idaho

  • Dave Lund

Get Involved

If you are a case worker wanting to exhibit a professional photo of a child in a heart gallery please fill out our referral form.

Click Here to Host a Gallery

A Family For Every Child
1675 West 11th Avenue
Eugene, Oregon 97402
(541)-343-2856
photos@afamilyforeverychild.org