May is National Foster Care Awareness Month!

On May 4, during the lively First Friday ArtWalk, a parade of men, women, and children will carry hundreds of bluebird artworks down the pedestrian mall. Each bluebird work of art represents one boy or girl in foster care in our community, and there are currently 250 youngsters in care.

“These bluebirds were created and donated by more than 100 artists, crafts people, schools, and organizations, said Marnie Allen of the Foster Care Adoption Awareness Coalition, the group hosting this community event, “So each one is unique and beautiful, just like our kids.”

Artists include Cindy Burke, John Borden Evans, and Ed Vasilcik. Organizations include Girl Scout Troop 5002, Lexis Nexis, Innisfree Village, and Cub Scout Pack 222.

The Bluebird Parade will land at City Space, where participants will be met by Delegate David Toscano, a longtime champion of efforts to increase opportunities for foster children in our community. There will be refreshments, music, and an auction of bluebird artwork led by Norman Dill. Another group of bluebirds will be available for adoption, with a donation. All proceeds will benefit training and supporting foster care families, and giving foster children a voice in court through the advocacy work of Piedmont CASA Volunteers.

On Friday, bluebirds will be displayed on the lawn in front of Piedmont CASA. At 4:55, there will be a brief talk before launching the flock at 5:00. The Parade will head to the Sprint Pavilion, then fly down to the Omni end of the mall where it will do a u-turn, and return up the mall to land at City Space around 5:30.

To join the parade and carry a bluebird for a foster child, or see the bluebird artwork, go to the Piedmont CASA website (), and click on The Bluebird Project button.

The Bluebird Project is a community event hosted by the Foster Care Adoption Awareness Coalition, which consists of these local organizations: Community Attention Foster Families (CAFF), the Departments of Social Services in Albemarle and Charlottesville, DePaul Community Resources,  Foster Care Alumni of America, Great Expectations at the Piedmont Virginia Community College, PeoplePlaces, Piedmont CASA, and UMFS.

The Bluebird Project Website