The "hopes and dreams" of a dozen homeless children who live in Tucson were celebrated Monday through greeting cards.
And now the public will have a chance to learn about those dreams while supporting a group that helps the homeless.
Photographs on the greeting cards included a dog at a shelter with an explanation that De'oujenai, 9, has a dream to help dogs.
Another was a photo of the University of Arizona and Yileana, 7, saying that her dream is to go to college.
And a third is a photo taken by Londyn, 7, of her hand touching a photo of her great-grandmother that is on top of a Native American blanket. Londyn's message: "My dream is to always honor my great-grandmother."
The children illustrated their dreams through colored photographs taken on their digital cameras, which were donated by Walgreens. The photos are now on greeting cards for sale this holiday season, said Linda Solomon, the creator of the project who is a freelance photojournalist and author. She lives in Tucson part of the year.
The project — to educate the public about homelessness among children in the United States — was founded by Solomon four years ago here, and now has spread to 14 other cities, including Albuquerque; Washington, D.C.; Queens, New York; Philadelphia; Flint, Michigan and Kansas City, Kansas.
"I started taking photographs as a child, and photographs can change a life," said Solomon, explaining that she wanted homeless youth to know that "people care about your hopes and dreams, and you can capture them with a camera."
Solomon, the children and their families, the youths' mentors on the project and community leaders were among those who gathered to pay honor to the young photographers — ages 8 through 12 — at the "Meet the Young Artist" party at O'Rielly Chevrolet, 6160 E. Broadway.
Rob Draper, president of O'Rielly, is a supporter of the project and the dealership has made it possible that "100 percent of the proceeds" benefit Our Family Services, which provides support to these children and others who are homeless.
How to purchase these greeting cards:
Boxes of 15 cards can be purchased at the offices of Our Family Services, 2950 N. Alvernon Way or online at www.ourfamilyservices.org for $15.
Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4104.