Heart Gallery of Sacramento

In 2001, Diane Granito, a State Adoptions recruiter in Santa Fe, New Mexico, had a unique idea to assist children in search of adoptive families; her idea was a Heart Gallery. Diane Granito went on to found the Heart Gallery of America. News of the Heart Gallery spread to Sacramento where in 2005, a local Heart Gallery was founded. The Heart Galleries operate in more than 80 communities across the country, with more in Canada.

The Heart Gallery of Sacramento is a partnership of volunteer photographers, artists, businesses, and community individuals from public and private agencies serving children and youth in foster care throughout the Sacramento region. Since 2005, the Heart Gallery of Sacramento has helped 107 of the 174 children featured in Heart Gallery of Sacramento to find a permanent home, through adoption, guardianship, even reunification. Now, recruitment and matching of families happens with the help of wonderful portraits and banners that 'jump out' to introduce foster children and youth, replacing 'in the moment' candid photos taken by social workers in what was too frequently limited lighting and random backgrounds. In the words of one photographer (who adopted a child), 'The job of a photo reporter is to record history; for the first time, we have the ability to change history. We can give voice to a living part of our society which otherwise would not be heard. We need to find families for these children who have been waiting for years.'


The mission of the Heart Gallery of Sacramento is to improve the lives of children in foster care by promoting permanency and adoption primarily through a collection of portraits of children waiting for adoption or guardianship in Sacramento County. The portraits, which help to capture the spirit and personality of each child, are displayed within our community. We are an all-volunteer community organization combining the art of photography with a passion for recruiting permanent homes to find “Forever Families” for children. Our mission is accomplished by raising awareness in our community, recruiting permanent and adoptive families.


The Heart Gallery of Sacramento pays for portraits ($70-75 each) and banners ($750 each) of children and youth that are seeking forever families and are displayed at least three major events each year: a spring brunch in conjunction with Plates, a local non-profit restaurant, a summer family dinner event with a donation/percentage of revenue for the evening, and a culminating fall event at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento in November that joins the celebration of National Adoption Month. Each event significantly aids in our ongoing mission to recruit 'forever families' for the children portrayed, while also raising community awareness and recruitment opportunities for adoption of children from foster care. The estimated figures of cost and attendance vary slightly from year to year depending on the location of the events. Additionally, partnering agencies utilize Heart Gallery portraits and banners throughout the year in their own outreach and recruitment events.

The Heart Gallery pays an honorarium to youth/foster youth who act in a volunteer capacity as speaker or support to Gallery or partnering agency outreach/recruitment efforts and events.

Projected costs: Venues/Food ($3500), Printing ($500), Portraits ($2000), Banners ($2000), Marketing ($1000), Honorarium ($1000).

The Heart Gallery of Sacramento has no paid employees; it operates solely with a group of volunteers who strategically manage a limited budget, finding suitable venues and allocating limited resources efficiently. Volunteers can assist at any level, at any event and we embrace them as "Friends of the Board." These events, including the display of all available Heart Gallery portraits, current and archived, heighten the awareness of the need for families, homes and interested individuals that will provide permanency for children of foster care.

The Heart Gallery of Sacramento continually seeks to expand collaborations/networking to increase Board diversity, capacity and expertise as well as venue development.

The Heart Gallery of Sacramento supports those donors who specify where and how donations should be directed to benefit the children and youth featured in the Heart Gallery. An example of a more specific donation is to support the Heart Gallery's work with volunteer artists from all over the United States who submit oil and acrylic versions of the photographs taken during the year. These are the artists associated with Painting for Good Causes. These originals are then presented to the child/youth by their social worker and a photo duplicate is reserved for display during the year for community outreach. The expense of this duplication is equal to the original cost of the photograph.

Raffle items/baskets and silent auction items for fund raising events that support photography and portraits.

Organization Data


Organization name

Heart Gallery of Sacramento

Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Human Services

Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Unrestricted, Volunteers, Board Members, Funding: Other, In-Kind Donations

Demographics Served

Youth & Children

Local Counties Served



P.O. Box 276827
Sacramento, CA 95827

Service areas

Sacramento County, CA, US



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