Card for A Cause - Hospitality House offers holiday greeting
Inspired by a chance meeting between an artist and a homeless man, the Honor Card program has raised more than $2.65 million for homelessness since William Mangum's participation began over 20 years ago. Hospitality House is taking part in the program in 2009 as part of its fundraising efforts.
Each year, the Honor Card features a contemplative painting by Mangum, one of the most respected and collected artists in North Carolina. Mangum's introduction to the plight of homelessness came through an appeal from a hungry man named Mike Saavedra one morning in a Greensboro fast-food restaurant. Mangum bought the man breakfast and took him to a shelter for clothes and food, and ultimately became his caretaker for three years.
"Hospitality House is thrilled to partner with William Mangum and the Honor Card program," said Jill Kuykendall Landers, director of development for Hospitality House.
"The Honor Card is a wonderful way to recognize a friend or family member this holiday season and at the same time give a meaningful gift to someone in need. We hope the program will be a successful tool to raise awareness and allow us to continue helping people rebuild their lives."
In 2003, Mangum approached Wachovia Bank to participate as an underwriting sponsor to expand the Honor Card program outside of Greensboro.
Now, nine other communities across North Carolina are able to take part in the program. Burlington, Durham, Fayetteville, Greenville, Hickory, Raleigh, Asheville and Winston Salem participate, and Boone will begin this year. With assistance from Wachovia's foundation grant, 100 percent of each donation goes directly to the respective agency to help the homeless.
With a donation of $5 or more, a person receives an Honor Card to send to a friend or loved one indicating that they have been honored by a donation to Hospitality House.
During the past 21 years, over a half a million honor cards have been given. Hospitality House hopes to sell 3,000 cards this season, raising $15,000 that will be used to provide assistance and support for the needy and homeless of the community.
The Honor Cards are now available throughout the holiday season at Hospitality House; Wachovia Bank branches in Boone, Blowing Rock and Wilkesboro; Mast General Store locations in Boone and Valle Crucis; Boone Drug Stores Downtown Boone, King Street, Deerfield and New Market; Blackberry Creek Mattress Outlet, Higher Grounds Coffee Shop; Boone Bike & Touring; Cheap Joe's Art Stuff; the office of Rob Angle, attorney; The Shoppes at Farmers Hardware; Laura's Yarn-Tastic and several local churches. Local businesses, individuals and civic groups are encouraged to get involved. Call Landers at (828) 262-3461 for more information.
Founded in 1984, Hospitality House is a non-profit crisis intervention agency that provides shelter and services to the homeless, operates the community soup kitchen and administers WeCAN - the local crisis assistance program. Hospitality House is a High Country United Way agency.