CORAL GABLES (CBS4)- World-renowned photographers are snapping away at a photo shoot in Coral Gables Friday, but their models are not hot off the runway. They’re foster children up for adoption.
The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery, a traveling museum-quality exhibit featuring children in Miami-Dade’s foster care system who are available for adoption, is hosting a photo shoot until 6 p.m. with world-renowned photographers that are donating their time to their latest project.
“A lot of these children have just seen negativity all around them, so just to be able to be a face of somebody smiling, being positive and not trying to get something from them; it makes a big difference in people’s lives,’” said volunteer barber Gregg Davis.
Approximately 22 foster children will participate, with each photo capturing the unique personality of each child. The Biltmore Hotel and Coral Gables is the backdrop for the event.
“We want to make them look fantastic so that somebody else sees that, so they can find a fantastic home,” said volunteer make-up artist Nikki Oxley.
Many of the photographers are award-winning professionals who have received top honors for their work with publications in Harpers Bazaar, In Style, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Maxim and People.
The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery is a partnership between The Childrens Trust and Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc., the local lead agency for child welfare in Miami and the Keys.
“Nearly 50 percent of the children that have been in this exhibit since the inception have either been adopted or are in the process of being adopted,” said Children’s Trust senior communications manager Emily Cardenas.
According to the state of Florida, there are 850 children in Florida who are available for adoption and 90 are from Miami.
These children have been removed from their biological parents for reasons of neglect or abuse with no possibility of family reunification.
The need of the children is best lift expressed by one of the kids themselves. Rufus, is looking to be adopted and when asked by CBS4′s Christina Puig what kind of family he wanted to adopt him, Rufus said, “A good one that takes care of me.”
Approximately half of 155 children who have been featured in The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery in the past three years were either adopted or are in the process of being adopted.
For more information about the program, click here.