Heart Gallery: Helping Foster Children Find FOREVER FAMILIES; Part One of Interview with Barbara Schechter

By AbbyA

As we move into our final week of Luck v. Faith, we are sharing with you a wonderful organization that brings foster children to forever families through photography.  Barbara Schechter is the Executive Director of Heart Gallery.  In addition to sharing about Heart Gallery, Barbara gives her comments on luck, faith and ministering to foster kids.

“I don’t attribute finding a forever family to luck because I do believe that God has a plan for each of us and that the Heart Gallery helps to carry out His plan for these children.”    Barbara Schechter

What is Heart Gallery and how did you get involved?

The Heart Gallery of Broward is a traveling exhibit and website of photos of foster children in Broward who are available for adoption. In nearly all cases, the children’s parental rights have been terminated by the courts, so they will remain in the foster care system until a family adopts them or until they turn 18. The photos are taken by professional photographers who donate their time. The exhibit travels every month or two to a new location in Broward. It goes to high-traffic places like malls, libraries and office buildings, as well as large churches. The objective is to raise awareness about foster care adoption and about other ways that people can help foster children, such as foster parenting, mentoring or Guardian ad Litem.

I originally got involved as a board member in the organization’s first year. I claimed that I was too busy to be involved, but I became more and more drawn to what the Heart Gallery was doing. I had recently retired from a marketing career, but felt called to go back and run the Heart Gallery when they needed their first full-time employee. It has been hugely rewarding to see it grow from a simple idea four years ago into to an organization that has found ‘forever families’ for over 60 children and raised awareness about foster care among so many people.

What does it mean to have a “forever family”? 

The term is synonymous with ‘adoptive family’. To the child, ‘forever’ means that they no longer live their lives with uncertainty about their future- not knowing where they will live next or for how long, and whether they will need to make a life on their own when they turn 18. Most of the children come from families that never gave them a lot of love, so their ‘forever family’ provides unconditional love and security that have never known.

If you are interested in getting involved with Heart Gallery, tune in for the rest of the week for more of Barbara Schechter’s interview.  You can also visit www.heartgalleryofbroward.org or call or email Barbara directly.  Tel: 954-918-3008 or barbara@heartgalleryofbroward.org.

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