A little bit of sidewalk chalk and two hours of deep concentration produced a new piece of art on Charlottesville's downtown mall Wednesday.

A portrait of a little girl has taken over part of the Free Speech Wall. The mural is in honor of national foster care awareness month. Artist Sam Welty says he doesn't know the little girl in the picture; he just picked a cute face that he hopes will send a message. 

"I found the most adorable picture I could possibly come up with of a little girl who just looks happy to be alive and threw the foster care logo in there and figured that would work like a charm," Welty. 

Members from the Central Virginia Adoption Awareness Coalition will hold several other events this month in honor of foster care awareness. See below for information on those events.

Central Virginia Adoption Awareness Coalition

Central Virginia Adoption Awareness Coalition to Raise Awareness for National Foster Care Month

Mural, ribbon tying, & movie presentation to highlight the needs of children and families involved with the Child Welfare System.

Charlottesville, Va. (April 29, 2013) – For National Foster Care Month (May), the Central Virginia Adoption Awareness Coalition will hold three separate events in Charlottesville to raise awareness of the needs of children and families involved with foster care and the child welfare system.

·Wed., May 1 Mural Installation – Mural artist Sam Welty will be creating a mural on the Freedom of Speech Wall to raise awareness that May is National Foster Care Month. More information about Sam can be found at http://www.samwelty.com/Welcome.html.

·Fri., May 3 (4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) - Ribbon Tying Event - A Ribbon Tying Event will bring together a selection of speakers, including foster youth. Ribbons will be tied on the trees next to Charlottesville City Hall to represent the 227 children in foster care in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. In the event of rain or inclement weather, this event will be held in City Council Chambers in the basement of City Hall.

·Mon., May 6 (5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) – A film screening of the movie "Ask Us Who We Are" will be held at the Albemarle County Office Building located at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville. A reception with light refreshments and food will kick off the event at 5:30 p.m. The film will be shown from 6:00-7:15 p.m., followed by a panel discussion. The film shares the stories and feelings of people searching for family and belonging.

These events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Allison Saunier at (434) 242-1885.

The Central Virginia Adoption Awareness Coalition includes Albemarle County Department of Social Services, Charlottesville Department of Social Services, Community Attention Foster Families, DePaul Community Resources, People Places, Inc., and United Methodist Family Services.