On Valentine’s Day, the Western Montana Heart Gallery will display the faces of 5 foster care children in need of a permanent home. The children on display are a small fraction of the number of Montana children in need of a family. In Western Montana alone (including Missoula, Lake, Ravalli, Mineral, Flathead, and Sanderson counties) there are currently 80 children waiting to be adopted. Those 80 children are among the 354 children currently being cared for by only 221 foster families. These children are in desperate need of the love and support that only a permanent home can provide.

In 2010 the Heart Gallery presented Missoula with the faces of 6 children in need and 5 were adopted into a family. Nationally, children featured in Heart Galleries have a 90% adoption rate. One of the reasons for this is the ability of people to see and take responsibility for the need that exists in their own communities.

The grand opening of Missoula’s Heart Gallery will be at 1:00 P.M. on February 14, at the Southgate Mall near the central clock tower. The gallery will be on permanent display for mall visitors to view. Hopefully, Missoulians with the ability to do so will be able to give more than flowers and chocolate this Valentine’s Day.