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Almost Home: Sales of Honor Card to help homeless

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"Almost Home" by artist William Mangum is the art for this year's Honor Card. Sales benefit homeless shelters across the state, including Community Crossroads Center in Greenville and United Community Ministries in Rocky Mount.

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The Daily Reflector

Thursday, November 15, 2018

A painting of a man trekking through the snow toward a well-lit cottage is being used to shine a light on the issue of homelessness and to invite people to help provide shelter.

Titled “Almost Home,” the work by artist William Mangum is featured on the Honor Card, a holiday season fundraiser for homeless shelters across the state, including those in Greenville and Rocky Mount.

Greenville's homeless shelter, Community Crossroads Center, unveiled this year's card on Tuesday at Villedge Wood-Fired Kitchen & Bar.during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

“Back in 1988, Bill Mangum decided he was going to create the Honor Card for Greensboro Urban Ministries. That year they sold 5,000 cards and raised $52,000, which is absolutely incredible,” said Bob Williams, executive director of Community Crossroads Center.

“Since he conceived of the Honor Card, Bill has raised $7 million for homeless shelters in North Carolina,” Williams said.

Community Crossroads Center sold nearly 3,100 of the cards last year, raising about $17,000. The center hopes to sell 3,500 cards this year.

“Some people will say, 'Here's $5 for a card,' but a lot of people will give us $100 and takes five cards,” Williams said. “It's more about the generosity of the community.”

Mangum, who has been designing the cards for more than 30 years, said his inspiration was Michael Saavedra, a homeless man he met in Greensboro.

“This chance encounter was truly a godsend,” Mangum said in a statement on his website. “Through my friendship with Mike, God pricked my heart and stirred my soul as he laid upon me the desire to help those less fortunate.”

The artist said this year's scene is symbolic of life's journey.

“Truth be known, we are never really at home here on earth. We are simply passing through,” he said. “I take heart knowing that if we trust in the Lord, he will provide for his people on a physical and emotional basis in a time of hardship.”

Community Crossroads Center has a 98-bed capacity that will accommodate 58 men and 24 women. In addition, there are four family rooms. The estimated cost of housing an individual at the shelter for one night is $25.

Honor Cards are a minimum of $5 each. Orders of at least 10 cards are $4 each. Due to Mangum's donation of art, along with sponsorship by Wells Fargo, 100 percent of each donation goes to the shelter.

Community Crossroads Center is located at 207 Manhattan Ave. For more information about Honor Cards, visit communitycrossroadscenter.org or call 752-0829.

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