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'I really love it' | Mural turning heads, opening minds in Shelby

Abound Health commissioned the mural on the side of their building to highlight the special people who help every week.

SHELBY, N.C. — A Shelby, North Carolina, mural is doing more than showcasing a local artist's talent. Some say it's making a positive impact on a community working hard to bring about more understanding.  

Abound Health, which is an organization dedicated to supporting those with disabilities, commissioned the artwork to feature some of the people they work with weekly to highlight the abilities that shine through in their hearts. 

"The main thing is just to treat them like you want to be treated," Shirliria Perkins with Abound Health said. "Our hope is that our guys will get their place in our world."

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The large painting can be found on the west side of the company's Shelby office on South Washington Street just north of 74.

The scene painted on the building features lots of things, but one of the main focal points is Brandon McKinsey.

"It looks so good!" McKinsey exclaims after spotting the mural. "My glasses and my hair! Well, I really love it."

"It's realistic," Perkins agreed. "It's like he copied and pasted them on the wall."  

The scene depicted features multiple things, including bubbles, which are special to McKinsey, too.

"We make bubbles; we cook," McKinsey shared. "We do everything!"

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Handprints can be seen inside the bubbles, revealing a personal touch. 

"The guys came out and did it with their hands, so it's like their handprints are inside the bubbles," Perkins shared.

McKinsey, who goes there every Monday and Friday, obviously delights in the mural.

"I think it will be good when they see this picture of us," McKinsey beamed. "It's all about having fun with your friends and family."

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In a population sometimes misunderstood, Perkins most appreciates how the mural shows the people who go to Abound Health are people with feelings that matter.

"They have a voice," Sylvia Bryant, the day program director emphasized. "They have a reason for being here, and we shouldn't treat them any differently than we treat our family."

Art imitating life, hopefully bringing more understanding with every glance.

Learn more about Abound Health here.

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