Instructables

Making "Cross in My Pocket" Crosses for Homeless Kits

Picture of Making
Some people like to carry a small cross in their pocket with their coins. The church where my wife and I attend recently had a work day, and one of the projects was to assemble kits for the homeless. Several street intersections near us are often populated with people holding cardboard signs written in black crayon: "Hungry. Please help! God bless!" The kit is a plastic bag holding several nutritious food items that will not perish, a printed guide to shelters and other forms of assistance in the greater area, and one of these pocket crosses. Each family at church took two of the kits home that day to have in their car so the driver could give a kit to anyone standing at a street corner seeking help. The very next day my wife gave away the kit she had in her car, and the person who received it was very happy to get it.

My wife wants to make up some of these kits on our own. We went to a Christian bookstore to see about the pocket crosses. They were $1.50 and more. We began talking about whether I could make some. The difficulty when working with rapidly spinning sawblades and small pieces is keeping the pieces from moving while keeping fingers from getting into the blades. The photo shows one of the nearly 50 pocket crosses I made in a couple of hours with a cash outlay of only $4 US. 
 
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togo19191 year ago
Thank you Phil!
Phil B (author)  togo19191 year ago
Thank you for looking.
Ron_1232 years ago
I would normally use a small piece of scrap wood to lap the item you are hammering to prevent it from being marred by the hammer.
I could even imagine using a popsicle stick for this project to protect the cross.

Nice project, thank you.
Phil B (author)  Ron_1232 years ago
Thank you for the suggestion of a piece of wood to cushion from hammer marks. I have done that on bigger things using better wood. The square dowels come only in poplar, so it sands easily. Also, if something keeps one member from seating completely with the other, sanding smooths out any raised edges.
snideprime2 years ago
I especially like the fact that you realize that the spiritual needs of people are also important, and you gave of your time and effort to help and show them hope, Thank you, and blessings to you and yours.
Phil B (author)  snideprime2 years ago
Thank you. I am not the one to have decided on the contents of the kits, and do not yet know how they came to be. I think a spiritual encouragement in the bags is a good idea. There was a contributor on one of the news channels who talked about being homeless, as well as on drugs a few years ago. She credited her Christian conversion with imbuing her with a sense of personal responsibility that changed her life. That is not to say all homeless are in that state because they simply need more personal responsibility. I did the Instructable with two things in mind. First, I wanted to show a way to make small objects like a pocket cross and still keep one's fingers unbloodied. Also, I thought the idea of having the homeless kits in the car was a very good one worth sharing. Blessings to you and yours, also.
Thanksgiving is coming up next month (in the USA) and although hunger is always with us, this can be a way to give thanks and do something positive about the problem of homelessness and hunger without giving cash directly to the person (which might be used for less-than-positive purposes). I particularly like the addition of the homeless assistance sheet which just might give that person a lead to change his or her life situation for the better. The only addition I might include would be a sanitizing wipe or similar item - a small touch but appreciated. Regardless of one's religious belief or non-belief, helping those in need is always a good idea. And exercising your right to vote just might help change things for the better too....,
Phil B (author)  ckoehler19042 years ago
I had the thought that people on the street often go without things like soap and toothpaste. Your idea about the hand sanitizer is a good one. I will pass that along to the people who sponsored the work day project. Thanks.
I am aware that there is a real need for toiletries (hand soap, shampoo, shaving supplies, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, sanitary napkins, etc.) in homeless shelters. I bring some of these items back from whenever I use a hotel and then take them to shelters. However, most of those items are probably not as critical as nutritious food and shelter. The needs are great, resources are usually available - but timely distribution at the point of need is often a challenge.....
Including a couple sanitizing wipes (or even just moist towelettes) is a great idea. While not truly necessary, it may prevent illness. Vomiting and/or diarrhea in someone who is already undernourished could be quite serious.

Sam's Club, Costco and Amazon carry bulk packs of Purell and Germ-X wipes. Janitorial and industrial supply outfits usually stock that sort of thing as well. Phil, perhaps someone from church hitting up the local suppliers for a donation would bear fruit.
gave you five stars bud!!
Phil B (author)  coolbeansbaby682 years ago
Thank you. The best part: I still have all of my fingers after this project!
Ya i kinda was thinking the same thing looking at the pictures.... I got almost 300 views ..... wooohooooo
iceng2 years ago
Both are nice .
Phil B (author)  iceng2 years ago
Thanks.