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Church Turns Rags to Riches with Help From Volunteers

The Crossing, a St. Joseph church, is making rugs from scratch with the help of special volunteers.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Amanda Neal spends her days making rugs; a new hobby she picked up not too long ago.

She is a recovering drug and alcohol addict, who has recently found pleasure in giving back and helping others, thanks to The Crossing.

"This place is my refuge, pretty much. I come here for accountability, for prayer. I come here for ministering," she said.

About two years ago, the St. Joseph church wanted to find a way to give the homeless, ex-convicts, veterans and others like Neal, a chance to recover in a different way.

The Pastor, Danny Gach, opened the doors of his church, and started making rugs from scratch.

"Blue jeans, to sweaters, to t-shirts, to curtains, old curtains discarded, or anything we can cut into strips," said Gach.

Before Neal adopted a new addiction in rug-making, she said her life was empty.

"I didn't have friends, I didn't have, I don't know. I didn't have much to do. It was all preoccupied with things that are not healthy," she said.

Now, thanks to one machine, she no longer has a desire to turn to drugs or alcohol; but instead, a desire to make a difference.

"I am being healed every single day, more and more, and it's just amazing. I love this place," she said.

Neal has made 75 rugs in the past few months, all of which are for sale.

The Crossing is located at 629 South 8th St.

The church is open Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

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