During the month of October, The Call of Saline and Perry Counties plans to bring Project Zero's Heart Gallery on a tour of Saline County and the organization is seeking businesses, organizations and churches to partner with it to host the gallery.
"The Heart Gallery is a collection of photos of children who are waiting for families," The Call County Coordinator Julia DesCarpentrie said. "Most of them are older or teens."
DesCarpentrie explained that Project Zero partners with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to feature foster children who are available for adoption.
"These are all children in Arkansas," she said.
There are 343 children in foster care in Arkansas waiting to be adopted. DesCarpentrie believes when people see the faces of the children in need of families they will realize they are children, not statistics. She hopes seeing the gallery will stir the hearts of people in the community. She added these children are the future of the community and they need a home to be successful in life.
During the month, The Call wants to place the gallery, which is on a mobile wall that can put up in two or four sections together, in local businesses for one to four days. On Sundays, she wants the gallery to be placed in area churches.
DesCarpentrie wants to be give local businesses the chance to share the wall with both their customers and their employees.
She said the wall can be modified based on available space. It can be divided or displayed in a different shape based on need. There is no cost for a business or church to host the gallery.
The Call hosted the gallery last year and DesCarpentrie said the organization received positive responses from people who became interested in adoption. It was booked for the whole month of October around the community last year.
For those interested in helping but can't host, The Call also needs volunteers who can help move the wall from location to location. She can transport it in her vehicle, but needs help setting it up and taking it down.
"We would like to try to get it to many places," she said.
Anyone wishing to volunteer or reserve the gallery can contact DesCarpentrie at email@example.com.
The next informational meeting for individuals interested in fostering, adoption or volunteering with The Call is at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at New Life Baptist Church on Samples Road. DesCarpentrie said the meeting is just a chance to ask questions and learn more, not a commitment.
The full Heart Gallery can be viewed online at www.projectzero.org/arkansas-heart-gallery.