Contributed by Dawn Paulson
State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant Contest
August 15-24, 2018
11/11/2018 – 12PM
MTA Sports Center
1507 N Double B St. Palmer
FREE Admission, Donations Accepted
Who do you call when making a major life decision? Who do you spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with? Who do you call to celebrate milestones in life with? For most people, it is family. For children in foster care who are waiting for an adoptive family, it is no one.
In the state of Alaska, there are over 150 children in foster care whose parental rights have been terminated, and they are waiting for an adoptive family to choose them. Without an adoptive family, these children will age out of the system and be on their own. The statistics for aged out foster youth are staggering: only 50% will graduate high school, 40% will experience homelessness, 30% will be incarcerated and 25% will report substance use and abuse. The Heart Gallery of Alaska is the only recruiting of its kind in the state of Alaska for these youth.
The Heart Gallery of Alaska utilizes the power of media to capture the individuality of children waiting in foster care in order to advocate for their adoption. Each child listed on the Heart Gallery of Alaska has chosen to be featured and is legally available for adoption.
This gallery does not show every child awaiting a home, but serves as a compelling representation of the many Alaskan children who are looking for forever families. Through the Heart Gallery of Alaska, a loving family can inquire and learn more about children awaiting adoption and children featured on the gallery are encouraged to express what they are looking for in a forever family.
Beacon Hill operates the Heart Gallery of Alaska and is a privately-funded non-profit based in Anchorage and operating across the state. They work with professional volunteer media teams to showcase Alaska’s beautiful children. Because of this, many of these children have and will find permanent, loving homes. In 2017, the first full year of Heart Gallery of Alaska, 30 children had chosen to be on the gallery, 6 were adopted, 1 found a legal guardian, 14 were matched with potential pre-adoptive families and 2 aged out of foster care. So far in 2018, there are 39 children listed on the gallery with 20 of them matched with potential pre-adoptive families and 5 finalized adoptions! Heart Gallery of Alaska works at finding children forever families!
There are many exciting ways to support the Heart Gallery of Alaska! The most pressing is simply voting daily for Beacon Hill’s Heart Gallery of Alaska in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant Contest. Individuals 18 or over with a valid email address can vote up to 10 times/day from August 15th at 12:00:01am ET until 11:59:59pm ET on August 24th at https://www.neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2011466. Heart Gallery is up against 199 other worthy non-profits across the country for $25,000 awarded to the top 40 with the most votes. Please help support Heart Gallery with your daily votes. Giving a minute out of your day, could mean $25,000 for youth in our state.
Another way to support the Heart Gallery of Alaska is through the upcoming event, Reliance Games. Cross Fit Grizzly at the MTA Sports Center is hosting a cross fit competition event as an avenue to raise funds for the Heart Gallery of Alaska during Adoption Awareness Month. The event will be held November 11th at the MTA Sports Center, and they have an exciting goal of raising $50,000 and need your help. Registration is open now to join as an athlete, event volunteer, fundraising volunteer, silent auction donor, corporate sponsor and more. Get more information at the Reliance Games Facebook event or Ryan Staten at 907-240-7665.
You will see The Heart Gallery of Alaska mobile gallery displayed in the Mat-Su at local businesses, churches and events. If you have a popular event coming up or would be willing to host the gallery in your business or church, please contact Dawn Paulson at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
The most amazing opportunity to support the Heart Gallery of Alaska is to consider adding to your family through adoption. “There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.” National Adoption Center. View the children on the Heart Gallery at www.heartgalleryak.com.