Gov. Susana Martinez unveiled New Mexico’s 30th permanent Heart Gallery Friday at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque.
The digital Heart Gallery features foster children who are available for adoption and helps them find forever families. The number of Heart Galleries throughout the state has doubled to 30 in the last year.
“The Heart Gallery is such a wonderful way to help tell the story of our beautiful children who are looking for their forever families,” Martinez said. “By doubling the number of Heart Gallery locations, we are giving more families the opportunity to see children who need their love. I encourage all New Mexicans to take a close look at these portraits. They are beautiful children who live in our communities and were in some way failed by the people who should have loved them the most.”
In June 2014, Martinez unveiled the nation’s first-ever Digital Heart Gallery at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. Presbyterian Hospital also becomes the 13th location to use the digital Heart Gallery display.
In a large and rural state like New Mexico, using this digital program allows CYFD to quickly update Heart Galleries, so that more New Mexico children needing forever families can be featured. As children are adopted, CYFD adoption recruiters will update the Digital Heart Galleries online from a central location, without having to drive long hours to physically change the photographs and information.
As of May 2015, there were more than 2,100 New Mexico children in foster care. There are 596 CYFD foster children statewide who are currently available for adoption. In Bernalillo County alone, there are 205 children available for adoption through CYFD.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is when I get to be part of things that really make a difference in the lives of New Mexico children,” CYFD Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson said. “We are very grateful to Governor Martinez and all Heart Gallery sponsors for their continued support of the Heart Gallery and for their efforts to help raise awareness about foster and adoption in New Mexico.”
This new Heart Gallery was funded by Walmart, which has donated an additional $50,000 to the Heart Gallery Foundation of New Mexico to place more digital Heart Galleries throughout the state.
Over the last four and a half years, permanent Heart Gallery exhibits have been established throughout New Mexico, including communities such as Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Alamogordo, Silver City, Hobbs, Roswell, Clovis, Lovington, Artesia, Grants, Deming, Belen and Carlsbad.
The Heart Gallery of New Mexico is a CYFD program created to raise awareness about older foster children and sibling groups in protective custody who are ready for adoption. Talented photographers and videographers donate their time to create compelling and unique portraits of the children, which appear in exhibits across the state as well as in the online Heart Gallery on the CYFD website, http://www.heartgallerynm.org.