A love for North Carolina is the theme that binds Bill to his collectors and readers. It’s something well known to those who acquire his paintings of street scenes, rural settings, and commissions of beloved places here and abroad for more than 40 years.
What they may not know about Bill is the impact a homeless individual had on his life. In 1987 a chance meeting with Mike changed him forever. Bill ultimately became Mike’s caretaker for three years until his death. Not only was Mike homeless, he was mentally ill. That experience challenged his beliefs as a Christian and charged his outlook to work with deeper purpose.
His friendship and experiences with Michael Saavedra taught him much. This led him to create an annual painting raising awareness and funds for the needy and homeless across our state. Since 1988 his annual Honor Card program has generated more than five million dollars for thirteen different cities across North Carolina. On Christmas Eve, 2010 NBC Evening News with Brian Williams recognized Bill’s outreach on the Making A Difference segment.
"I constantly ask myself, recognizing how overwhelmingly blessed I am: what sets me apart from so many other tremendously talented folks? What does God really want me to do with this artistic gift? Anybody can learn to paint; but honestly, deep inside me there's a higher purpose and a calling." In the company of both friends and strangers, Bill seeks the answer, in order to live a grateful and authentic life.
The Honor Card by William Mangum is one of the most celebrated charitable programs in the nation. One artist with a gifted talent has taken his annual painting to support the needy and homeless in his state for over 30 years.