When Tony Rodrigues, owner of PrintMakers in Pawtucket, RI, learned about the efforts by Adoption Rhode Island to find forever homes for children of all ages, he knew he wanted to help. Eleven years ago, the adoption agency started the Heart Gallery, a traveling portrait gallery featuring photos of children needing homes. PrintMakers got involved by providing the gallery-wrapped prints.
“We’ve been involved since day one,” Rodrigues says. “I wanted to do whatever we can to help to minimize the kids who ‘age out’ without finding a family. Basically, they’re on their own when they hit 18. Having two kids of my own – trying to imagine their lives in that situation is my motivation.”
The 2015 Heart Gallery was revealed on Nov. 18, and will begin traveling around the state to government buildings, corporations, libraries, community attractions and small businesses.
“The Heart Gallery has been a great awareness-raising tool and pretty effective,” says Donna Rivera, communications director for Adoption Rhode Island. “We’re fortunate to have an approximately 50 percent success rate of finding homes for the children who have been featured in the Heart Gallery over the years.”
For the gallery, local photographers donate their services to photograph the children. PrintMakers donates the time and services to print the gallery wraps on LexJet Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas and finish them with Sunset Gloss Coating, both of which were donated by LexJet this year.
“It’s very moving to know that in a very small way, we’ve helped,” Rodrigues says. “And we appreciate all the help LexJet has given us.”
To learn more about Adoption Rhode Island’s Heart Gallery, please visit its website.