Written by Sharon Beningfield

Moving Toward Hope

September 26, 2019                                                               Contact:  Tabitha Lambert, Guardian ad Litem Circuit Director 813-272-5110

“Moving Toward Hope”

Tampa, FL – A garbage bag. It’s handed to you and you’re told to put all your belongings in it. Do it quickly and then get ready to leave. That’s the scenario many children face in the foster care system, and it can be one that is faced several times in a short time span. To bring attention to the thousands of children in the Tampa Bay area seeking a permanent, loving home, several groups came together to create a public service video, Moving Toward Hope.

To heighten awareness of the children hoping for adoption, and reach out for advocates to encourage and speak for foster children, a collaborative effort was created, and funding secured through a grant from the Hobbs Foundation. The Heart Gallery of Tampa, Voices for Children (supporter and partner of the Guardian ad Litem program in Hillsborough), and No Off Switch productions developed a visual way to speak to the community. The multiple placements, and the hope, of these children can be seen at www.movingtowardhope.org

Children enter the foster care system after having been abused, abandoned or neglected. Hillsborough County has more children in the dependency system than any other part of Florida, with the combined count of Pinellas and Pasco Counties following as a close second. It’s a race that area agencies would love to fall behind in.

“We were in need of an urgent and captivating message to draw attention to our brave children waiting in foster care with hopes of finding their forever family,” said Heart Gallery of Tampa Executive Director Amanda Page-Zwierko. “The partnership of the Heart Gallery, Voices for Children, and No Off Switch, along with the generosity of the Hobbs Foundation, has produced a quick, but lingering message about our children,” added Tabitha Lambert, Circuit Director, Hillsborough County Guardian ad Litem Program. The video is supported by a targeted digital campaign which has already brought in new interest to adoption orientations and Guardian ad Litem information sessions.

 

Heart Gallery of Tampa raises awareness of waiting foster children, engages the community in their welfare, and secures permanent, loving adoptive families. This is often done through video profiles which No Off Switch productions has made possible for many years. The Guardian ad Litem program and Voices for Children train and support advocates to encourage children and provide a voice for them in court. The Hobbs Foundation promotes social responsibility by providing funding opportunities to non-profit organizations supporting abused, abandoned and neglected children in the Tampa Bay community.

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