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The homeless make crosses for soldiers

By: Denny Trease
By: Denny Trease

A charitable organization in Lexington is making sure American soldiers are not forgotten with a project called Crosses for the Troops. The small symbols of hope are being made by people who could easily have lost all hope themselves.

The Catholic Action Center has long been an oasis in the desert of homelessness, and now the crosses being produced there will be a source of inspiration for people near and far.

Mike Thompson, who is serving as Marketing Director for the project, says, "The crosses are beautiful. They're handmade, and they have so much personality. It was such a very simple idea, have a co-op of marginalized homeless folks make them to sell to people to wear in honor of a soldier they know or to send one to Afghanistan or Iraq. We have contacts with various units over there, and we can send the cross to the chaplain on somebody's behalf."

Ana Martin took time out from bagging the crosses for mailing Wednesday to tell 27 NEWSFIRST, "We work hard making them and decorating them so people will appreciate what we're doing."

The homeless in Lexington can also help themselves while helping others because they're paid a small stipend for every cross they make.
Martin says, "We need the money in our pockets so when all these are sold, we'll keep making more and more."

Mike Thompson adds, "Something is better than nothing, and these payments could do a lot for somebody when food is the issue or survival is the issue."

The co-op is also putting the image of a cross on free bookmarks. According to Thompson, "We'll have a presence at the 4th of July Festival. We'll probably give away tons of bookmarks, but we want people to come down and buy a cross so we can send it, they can send it, or they can just wear it."


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