Miami-Dade County

These children are looking for a loving home. See their photos and stories

Isaac, 4; Silvana, 9; Jessica, 12; and Josephina, 6, enjoyed a day of fun at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and had their photos taken for the web-based Miami Heart Gallery. The siblings are among the Miami-Dade foster children waiting to be adopted.
Isaac, 4; Silvana, 9; Jessica, 12; and Josephina, 6, enjoyed a day of fun at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and had their photos taken for the web-based Miami Heart Gallery. The siblings are among the Miami-Dade foster children waiting to be adopted. Miami Heart Gallery

Finding a forever family can be a challenge for an older child living in foster care. But big steps to success often start with help from others.

On Sept. 30, The Children’s Trust hosted its biannual, web-based Miami Heart Gallery photo and video shoot at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. The mission is to encourage adoptions for harder-to-place children in Miami-Dade County.

Video crews, professional photographers, hair and makeup artists and dozens of other volunteers met at Frost Science with the goal to do their best to help more than 30 children begin the next part of their lives.

“The children we feature in the Miami Heart Gallery are some of the most resilient and amazing kids I have ever met,” said James Haj, president/CEO of The Children’s Trust.

“Year after year, this program continues to ignite hope in the lives of these youth. The photos and videos we take ensure that no stone is left unturned connecting them with individuals who can change the trajectory of these young lives forever,” Haj said.

Joseph Quiñones, vice president of marketing at Frost Science, said the museum staff was thrilled to welcome The Children’s Trust, and the children taking part.

“We were inspired by their stories and felt compelled to get involved, not only to provide a vibrant setting for the Miami Heart Gallery, but also so the children have a fun day in the process!”

Since The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery began in 2009, about half of the children featured have either been adopted or are in the process of being adopted.

You can learn more and see heartwarming images and videos at The children who participated in the latest event will have their photos and videos posted to the gallery pages soon.

Families who adopt enjoy lifelong joy and enrichment from making the difference in a young person’s life. There are also numerous supportive benefits, including college tuition waivers for the children to any state university through Florida’s Department of Children and Families.

Miami Heart Gallery is a partnership between The Children’s Trust and Citrus Family Care Network, the local lead agency for child welfare in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Anyone interested in learning more about adopting a foster child should call Citrus Family Care Network at 305-455-6000 or email

There are more than 274 children who need adopting in Miami-Dade’s foster care system.

Kiwanis honors David Lawrence Jr.

Everyone is invited to help the Kiwanis of Northeast Miami-Dade honor David Lawrence Jr., chair of the Children’s Movement of Florida, at the service organization’s 62nd anniversary gala fundraiser. The event is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Florida International University Kovens Center, 3000 NE 151st St., North Miami.

David Lawrence Jr. Miami

“David Lawrence pushed hard by getting a constitutional amendment to address pre-school education in Florida. He is one of the great advocates for children, especially during their early formative years in the U.S. and other countries,” said Wilbur Blechman, former president of Kiwanis International and lifetime local club member.

Lawrence, a former publisher of the Miami Herald, also is the author of the book, “A Dedicated Life: Journalism, Justice and a Chance for Every Child.”

For more information and to RSVP, contact Marjorie Aloni at 305-766-2976 or Milton Fisher at 786-375-1258. The cost is $75 per person. You can purchase tickets at

Safe Haven Gala

The Gloria M. Silverio Foundation A Safe Haven for Newborns, will host its A Wonderland in Safe Haven gala, 7 p.m., Oct. 19, at the InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza.

The event raises funds to help expectant young mothers. More often than not, Safe Haven is their only recourse in their time of need.

The nonprofit was started in 2001 by Nick Silverio to honor the life of Gloria, his wife of 31 years, who was killed in a traffic accident. Programs now reach all over Florida and the foundation also manages a 24/7 multilingual confidential helpline. Purchase gala tickets and learn more at

Orchestra Miami Returns

Get set for another season of musical fun. Orchestra Miami begins its Family Fun Series at Pinecrest Gardens, 3 p.m., Oct. 6, 11000 SW 57th Ave. Events are sponsored by Nicklaus Children’s Pinecrest Urgent Care Center.

The programs on Sunday afternoons, at different locations, help introduce children to the arts through music. The series includes symphonic music, dance, chamber music, and folk music. Each concert is about one hour long, and juice and cookies are served after the performances.

The Oct. 6 concert is “Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage” which tells a dramatic story, a little bit of history, and includes some of the world’s best-loved classical music. Come early for the instrument petting zoo, provided by Allegro Music Center.

On-site parking is free. Tickets are $10 for kids (3-17), $12 for seniors (65 & up) and $15 for adults.

Tickets are at or by calling 305-274-2103. Visit the website, or call, to learn how to subscribe to the concert series.

If you have news for this column, send it to CHRISTINAMMAYO@GMAIL.COM.