By Kye Saunders
Children all over the Tampa Bay area are in need of some extra love this holiday season and Heart Gallery of Tampa is offering a way to connect with some of them.
Established in 2001, Heart Gallery of Tampa was founded by Diane Granito.
Being both a skilled photographer and adoption worker, Granito fused her two passions together to create a method of introducing these children waiting to find loving adoptive families in a powerful new way by taking her photography to the public.
“It was almost as if the country was waiting to be told that these children are out here because no one really talked about them before,” said Granito.
Her poignant portraits of older children and sibling groups were now viewable in what it is known today as the Heart Gallery.
Heart Gallery children represent those in foster care who need additional support in finding families due to factors of age, race, being part of large sibling groups and special needs.
According to its website, 80-90 children are featured in Tampa’s Heart Gallery each year.
Over the past decade, the Heart Gallery has developed larger touring and interactive galleries, expanding to hundreds of cities across the country.
Each gallery works ceaselessly to find each child their forever family.
During the holidays, many of the children featured on the Heart Gallery website are included in a separate area so that residents can sponsor them with a holiday donation. The website features information about each child in addition to his or her professional photograph, and donors have the opportunity to pick the amount of money they would like to send to the child.
Donations can be paid by credit card and visitors are also able to send a message to the child they chose.
To learn more about adoption and to sponsor a child for the holidays or a birthday, visit www.heartgallerytampa.org. The Heart Gallery of Tampa is located at 5463 W. Waters Ave., Ste. 850 in Tampa.