In 1988, North Carolina artist William Mangum created the first Honor Card for Greensboro Urban Ministry. The image, “Not Forgotten,” sold 5,000 cards and raised a record-setting $52,000. Since then, the Honor Card Program has raised more than $5.6 million to help those who are experiencing homelessness, hunger and poverty.
During the holiday season, Honor Cards are available for a minimum donation of $5 apiece. You can purchase cards online here or at participating stores (please see below for further details). You can share cards to friends and family to let them know that a gift has been made in their honor to support Greensboro Urban Ministry’s work in the community.
Thanks to the generous support of the Wells-Fargo Foundation and Michael and Sarah Kearney, all expenses for this program are covered. All proceeds go directly to our organization.
Have you lost your joy, your strength, your peace? Do you feel alone? Those are poignant questions that cut me to the quick. It makes me pause and reflect not only about my own circumstances, but also about the needs of individuals who find themselves at the crossroads of despair. Each year I seek influence for the annual Honor Card painting and inspiration often comes to me through poignant lyrics such as the ones I found from the great South African singer Jonathan Butler in his song “I Know He Cares.”
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”.
This Holiday Season, thank you for sharing an Honor Card with a friend or family member, reminding them of God’s goodness and honoring them with a gift for the homeless and needy this season.
Blessings to you for your continued support.
Beginning November 6, Honor Cards will be available at the following locations in Greensboro: