Our History

The Beginning

January 1, 2006

A Family For Every Child (AFFEC), a non profit organization, began with its founder Christy Obie-Barrett, a mother of 12 children – 9 of which are adopted. Christy wanted to make a difference in the lives of more children and found a way through non profits. In January 2006, AFFEC was created to help find permanent homes for many of Oregon’s waiting children with special focus on special needs/hard to place children.

Heart Gallery of Lane County

April 1, 2006

In April, Christy’s friend, Andrea Kingsley Rippee, joined and helped create and introduce several new programs. The first of these programs was the Heart Gallery of Lane County. This program partners with area businesses to showcase a waiting child with their photo and short biography where their clientele can see them. Our first Heart Gallery partner was the 5th Street Public Market. We owe much to them in their willingness to help get this highly successful program off and running.

Family Finding Program

September 1, 2006

Family Finding started in September of 2006 when AFFEC brought a nationally known speaker, and Family Finding Creator, Kevin Campbell to do 6 month training. AFFEC opened this training to Child Welfare workers and CASAs.

2006 Recap

December 31, 2006

All our efforts were supported 100% by our in-kind donations of local volunteers and businesses.

Mentor Program

April 1, 2007

Our Heart Gallery Mentor program was created to provide local mentors to waiting children so that they would receive positive influences from the local community.

Heart Gallery Christmas Giving

December 1, 2007

This was the first year of our Heart Gallery Christmas Giving program, through which we were able to provide gifts for nearly 100 local foster children.

2007 Recap

December 31, 2007

We worked with over 250 children through one of our many growing programs. We saw over 60 children move through the Heart Gallery to find their Forever Families, largely based on churches for our locations with a new one added every month. Our media coverage expanded to include bus sides and billboards, in addition to our ongoing TV, radio & newspaper coverage. Through these programs we started by featuring one child once a month and now that has expanded to a child once a week. This expanded coverage has contributed to an 80% placement rate. We saw the start of the Family Finding training program and worked over a dozen initial Family Finding cases. This was the only one in the

Adoption Agency

April 1, 2008

Became an adoption agency, the Heart Gallery Adoption Agency, which allowed us to recruit for more children and represent our families in a more complete way.

Child Trends

May 1, 2008

Began a relationship with Child Trends, a national research organization, to join Los Angeles and San Francisco in a research project that we believed would show that with our Family Finding efforts, kids leave care sooner and are more connected to those who love them.

Oregon State Partnership

June 1, 2008

Received our first recruitment contract with the State of Oregon to partner with the state on Child-Specific Recruitment. This work focuses on the longest-in-care and hardest-to-place foster children, which is the core of our mission.

New Office

September 1, 2008

Moved into new offices with 8 employees, a big change from 2007 with only 1 employee and volunteers who worked from home. By the end of 2008, over 100 volunteers were helping children to find their Forever Families.

2008 Recap

December 31, 2008

Expanded to over 20 venues for our Heart Gallery, with over 100 children moving through the gallery to their own Forever Families. Began to greatly invest into our website, video, email outreach, & database efforts. The use and introduction of technology into our programs greatly increased our outreach, allowing us expand our programs and set the foundation for nationwide exposure. Life Book Group began, this was created and run by a volunteer with the help of community businesses. The Family Building program was created to support the families throughout the adoption process. This started as a support group that met twice per month.

Princess for a Day

April 1, 2009

Instituted the Princess For A Day for area and regional girls from 2-11 in foster care. Spearheaded by a group of dedicated volunteers, participating girls receive the full treatment of hair, makeup, nails, and a dress.

Recruiting for Washington

December 1, 2009

Began recruiting for Washington Children on our web site.

2009 Recap

December 31, 2009

Through our various efforts and programs, over 300 children were adopted that were deemed Hard-To-Adopt or Special-Needs. Through our recruitment we were able to reduce the average foster care placement of 40 months by half. Started a state-wide campaign to activate and educate other people in areas of Oregon to the plight of the children and how the average person, family, and business CAN make a difference. Expanded our data base to provide many services and tracking for recruitment and our families. Expanded efforts to connect families to the support resources with in their communities in order for them to succeed as a family.

Nation wide photo listing

February 15, 2010

Began photo listing children from many states and all over the country.

Our first adoption!

April 1, 2010

Finalized our first adoptions through our Heart Gallery Adoption Agency.

Washington Heart Gallery

May 1, 2010

Began the Washington Heart Gallery.

Matching Assistance Program

July 1, 2010

Instituted our Matching Assistance program to assist families in the matching process. This program utilizes the skills and experience of our staff & volunteers to support home studied families in their journey towards

1st Winter Wonderland Event

October 1, 2010

Held our first Winter Wonderland Event.This event helps to raise much needed funds and awareness for our organization and our efforts.

Heart Gallery of America Website

December 10, 2010

We took on the responsibility of maintaining the Heart Gallery of America web site.

2010 Recap

December 31, 2010

Our Heart Gallery increased to over 50 venues. This program continues to provide a valuable method of finding Forever Families for many children. Once again we expanded into offices on Beltline Road, with 5 full time and 5 part time employees and over 200 volunteers. Now over 60 mentor matches. We completed our strategic plan, business plan, and 5 year budget. Supported over 20 families a month in our Family Building support group that meets twice a month.

Hero For A Day

June 1, 2012

First Hero for a Day Event

Summer Event

July 1, 2013

First Summer Event

2014 Recap

December 31, 2014

Created Family Preservation Program Matching Assistance for Professionals

2015 Recap

December 31, 2015

Created Additional services for Matching Assistance Families

2016 Recap

December 31, 2016

Started relationship with 15th Night Celebrated 10 years

2017 Recap

December 31, 2017

Started building Host home program