|The 2007 Rowan Helping Ministries Christmas card reproduces the painting 'Jesus Approaches the Jordan' by the late artist Robert G. Doares, who retired to Salisbury in 1973 and left many of his works to local nonprofit agencies.
Rowan Helping Ministries has honored the late Robert G. Doares by using one of his paintings for its 2007 Christmas card.
"Jesus Approaches the Jordan" is the only painting the artist, who retired to Salisbury in 1973, made with a palette knife. The painting hung in Bob and Kay Doares' dinning room untitled until not long before his death, according to Dianne Scott, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries.
The Christmas cards serve as a major annual fundraiser for the nonprofit agency that operates Crisis Assistance Network, which is currently providing groceries, clothing, and/or financial assistance vouchers to more than 80 households daily, with an average of 1,000 pounds of groceries and $3000 in vouchers to prevent homelessness.
Rowan Helping Ministries also operates Salisbury overnight shelter, with the help of dozens of local churches and hundreds of volunteers.
The cards are available for a minimum contribution of $5 each, but more is appreciated. All contributions are tax deductible.
Last year, the Christmas cards raised more than $15,000 for the agency.
Rowan Helping Ministries has been featuring local artists' work on the Christmas cards since 1993, but Doares and his late wife may have provided the most significant gifts to the agency.
In their estate, the couple willed any art work not designated for someone to four nonprofit agencies Rowan Helping Ministries, Good Shepherd's Clinic and Historic Salisbury Foundation in Salisbury and Maxton Historical Society, in Robert Doares' hometown.
Doares was a prolific painter and devoted his work in the later part of his life to biblical scenes, especially the life of Jesus. He may be best known for 54 works done as a single project to illustrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. That collection in 54 masonite panels is displayed annually at the Billy Graham Museum in Wheaton, Ill.
The Doares were members of First Baptist Church of Salisbury. He died March 25, 2005, and Kay Doares died Aug. 22, 2006. They are buried next to each other at City Memorial Park.
Kay Doares was also a painter, and thanks to the couple's will, the four nonprofit agencies now own 66 pieces of the couple's artwork.
The agencies have the right to reproduce copies of those paintings, which may bring more revenue to the agencies, Scott said. Agency leaders are still discussing how to manage the bequest.
The Christmas card featuring "Jesus Approaches the Jordan" is available at Rowan Helping Ministries office, 226 N. Long St., as well as The Stitchin' Post, Pleasant Papers, all branches of F&M Bank, the gift shop at Trinity Oaks retirement center, Corner Crafts, Escape the Daily Grind and The Bible Book Store.