HICKORY – For the past 35 years, Greensboro artist William Mangum has created a beautiful painting for The Honor Card Program to help raise funds for organizations that serve homeless men and women in N.C. Exodus Homes, a faith-based United Way agency is one of 15 N.C. organizations participating in The Honor Card program, and the giving of Exodus Homes’ Honor Cards has become a tradition in this area. Each card sells for $5.00 and all proceeds from sales help fund the 73-bed supportive housing program at Exodus Homes. Mangum’s passion for helping homeless people began in 1987 when he met a homeless man who changed his life and his perspective on the suffering of homeless people. “Homelessness is a complex reality. It sounds simple, but there is no single explanation for how people fall into homelessness. I’ve sat with men and women who suffered from mental health disorders, many who were recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, and those who had experienced physical and sexual abuse. Ultimately, each person’s story held different tragic turns that contributed to their situation. We fail to honor the complexities of suffering when we oversimplify these contributing factors, or worse, quietly assign blame to the person next to us” said Mangum.
This year’s Honor Card is called “Making A Difference” and depicts two men walking together on a snowy day, one helping the other. Sales of Honor Cards are a primary source of funds annually for Exodus Homes and the recipient will know that a gift has been made to Exodus Homes in their honor. “With high gas prices and the steep rise in inflation, sales of this year’s Honor Card are especially important to help us reach our budget goals this year, Giving Honor Cards for the holidays is a great way to give a meaningful gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. ” says the Rev. Susan Smith, assistant executive director of Exodus Homes.
Since 1988, The William Mangum Honor Card has raised over ten million dollars for organizations like Exodus Homes, and this will be the last year they will be available because Mangum is retiring from the program. Mangum said, “Thirty-five years later I’m proud to say that the Honor Card program helped to provide a voice and authentic story annually about the great resources that outreach agencies provide for homeless and needy people. It has always been my intent that the Honor Card would stir the hearts and emotions of our community to come alongside supporting organizations who serve less fortunate people.” Smith says “Exodus Homes will be carrying on William Mangum’s Honor Card legacy by creating our own version of the holiday card next year. We are very grateful for all we have learned from William Mangum in The Honor Card program, and we will be working with our residents to create a new card that shares our mission in helping homeless people learn a new way to live after addiction and incarceration”.
Exodus Homes’ “Making a Difference” Honor Cards are available now and can be purchased at the following locations:
Exodus Homes Offices and Exodus New Life Thrift Store 610 4th St. SW Hickory 28602
Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ 1763 Highland Ave NE Hickory 28601
Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse 29 2nd St. NW Hickory 28601
SALT Block Gift Shop 243 3rd Ave NE Hickory 28601
Catawba County Chamber of Commerce 1055 Southgate Corporate Park SW, Hickory, NC 28602
Eco Dental 300 29th Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601
LINC Gift and Thrift 118 E 1st St, Newton, NC 28658
Honor Cards can also be purchased online at www.exodushomes.org by clicking on the “Donate” button and putting the words “Honor Cards” in the line for “Special Instructions for the Seller”. You can mail your cards yourself or bring a list of recipients and Exodus Homes will mail your cards for you. For churches or businesses that would like to participate in The Honor Card program, please contact the Rev. Susan Smith at email@example.com or 828-962-8196.