North Carolina watercolor artist William Mangum has been a hands-on advocate for the needs of North Carolina’s homeless population, donating his artistic skills and publishing gifts to make The Honor Card program one of the most well run and leveraged charitable programs in the country.
Through Mangum’s passionate endeavors and additional financial support from Wells Fargo, Piedmont Graphics, and Mike and Sarah Kearney, every penny goes directly to support homeless agencies in thirteen cities across North Carolina:Asheville, Boone, Burlington, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, Mount Airy, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, and Winston Salem. Since its inception in 1998, The Honor Card has raised over $5.6 million dollars to assist the homeless citizens of North Carolina.
Since 2008, Hospitality House, a regional nonprofit agency serving the men, women and children of Ashe, Avery, Watauga, Wilkes, Alleghany, Yancey and Mitchell counties, has participated in The Honor Card program and is pleased to once again offer this unique and meaningful gift opportunity for the holiday season.
“It is truly a blessing to be a part of The Honor Card program,” said Todd Carter, Hospitality House director of development. “Bill’s passion and commitment to the homeless people of North Carolina is contagious inspiration. We are proud to be a part of his vision and thankful for this opportunity.”
Say “thank you” to a friend. Show your love to someone special. Honor a loved one. These are just a few of the ways that The Honor Card can be employed during this season of love, light and giving. The Honor Card is a unique way to recognize special individuals and at the same time give a meaningful gift to someone in need. One-hundred percent of every dollar raised goes toward providing shelter, food and life-changing services to the individuals and families that call Hospitality House home.
Each year, The Honor Card features a contemplative painting by Mangum, one of the most respected and collected artists in the United States. Since discovering watercolors with a 59-cent tray in his pursuit towards his MFA, Bill has created over 3,000 paintings since 1977. This year he shares the following inspiration:
“From Jeremiah 29:11, it says: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. But when we see people caught in the midst of challenging experiences, hunger, homelessness, and despair, we begin to question why and ask, “Where are you Lord?” When thinking about God’s plan for our lives, it’s very easy to have the attitude “What about me?” Yes, it’s true. God cares about every intricate detail in our lives. In fact, Jesus said: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26). We mistakenly think that God’s plan is always going to be a “feel good” plan with the intent to make us happy.
Jeremiah’s message is actually quite different. He’s writing to a group of people who are being held captive and are in exile from their homeland. He’s writing to let them know that although they’re not where they would have expected, nor where they would have asked God to place them, God has not forgotten them and He still has a plan for their lives. To me, it’s the same kind of plight a homeless person might be experiencing. Even in the midst of a difficult situation, God wants us to know that He cares.
Today, in the midst of difficult situations, God wants us to know He has a plan. He also wants us to know that as we submit to His plan, He desires to use us to bless the world around us. That is where you and I come in. God gives us the privilege to be His hands to care for the needy and homeless and to help meet their needs. We are the instruments that come alongside to sustain, encourage, and provide hope to our friends that have stumbled along life’s path and remind them that “He Cares.”
The 2015 Holiday Honor Cards are available now through January for a minimum donation of $5 per card online at www.HospHouse.org – and they will ship them to you or for you at no additional charge. You may also purchase The Honor Card at Hospitality House (338 Brook Hollow Road, Boone) and Welcome Home Thriftique (182 Boone Heights Drive, Boone). Honor Cards may also be purchased at local Ashe, Avery, Watauga and Wilkes county businesses and churches including United Way of Wilkes, The Original Mast General Store and Annex in Valle Crucis, Mast General Store in downtown Boone, River Cross Market in Valle Crucis, Cornucopia in the Boone Mall, Church of the Holy Cross in Valle Crucis, Bridgeman Dental, Dr. Richard Forbes Periodontics, St. Luke’s Episcopal, St. Mary of the Hills in Blowing Rock, Lost Province Brewing Co., Grace Lutheran, The Pet Prairie Dog Retreat, Matney Liberty Church, Holy Trinity Church of the Frescoes, My Best Friend’s Barkery in Banner Elk and Hair Quest in Warrensville.
The “He Cares” Honor Card video featuring legendary South African recording artist Jonathan Butler singing “I Know He Cares” can be viewed at the Hospitality House YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/HospitalityHouseNC