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Hope in the Heights

Posted on May 14, 2018

Meet Cam. He’s a visual artist and muralist who’s set out on a mission to alleviate pain and persecution in his community. And he wants to do that through “elevated colors and a mix of grit and glam.”

We’ve partnered with Cam to bring Hope to Tampa Heights through an inspiring mural on the wall of our Thrift Store, located at 2101 N Florida Ave.

Cam (aka “Painkiller Cam”) attended Northern Illinois University where he earned his BFA with a major in Painting and a minor in Textile and Apparel Merchandising.

"I think it is so important that I don't do things arbitrarily or for no reason other than to paint a pretty picture. I want to express a feeling, show meaning, be thoughtful and somehow give back."

Cam’s pursuit of standing up for the underdog drew us to him when we asked the community for help creating a mural, and his goals as an artist perfectly align with our mission to see each and every one of our clients through to self-sufficiency.

“I love Met Min for taking care of our people," Cam says. "We can't overlook people because of a situation that may be going on in their life. We have to take care of each other.”

There is more to the little shop off the corner of Park and Florida Ave than just a discount store full of secondhand items. It's a source of hope to many in the community.

Donations dropped off at Metro's Thrift Store last year helped provide clothing and household items to over 12,000 households through our Outreach programs. And 320 resident families take advantage of our Thrift Store annually for necessary daily items and furniture for their new homes when they complete our program. 

The Thrift Store is also a place of opportunity for volunteers from all walks of life. So far this year, special-needs volunteers have served a whopping 240 hours here!

The Store also impacts the thousands of community members who donate to it every year. 

Cam will start painting his mural on the south wall of our Thrift Store in May. It will span across the wall in an explosion of color and images of hope.

“This piece means making everyone, no matter their stage in life, or any hurdles they may be tackling currently, feel like they are enough.”

As the neighborhood around our Tampa campus changes, we want to adapt with it so Metro can continue to be a place of Hope for those struggling and in need. This mural will serve as a picture of that commitment to our community and the families that live in it.

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