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For years, Matthew Quay picked up paper clips from desks and absent-mindedly straightened them while listening to discussions or presentations at work. He also carried some in his pockets to straighten during Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Orangeburg. It was simply something to do with his hands to help him stay focused, he said. He never figured that simple action would eventually turn into works of art that help persecuted Christians overseas. Last fall, Quay started to experiment with twisting the straightened clips into various shapes. He made a cross. With a few more twists, he formed the corpus of Christ. Within days, he was making beautiful crucifixes out of paper clips, sacred art formed from the simplest of office supplies. Since then, Quay’s creations have been displayed at the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center. Sales of the artwork have raised thousands of dollars to help persecuted and displaced Christians in the Middle East. Around the same time he made his first paper-clip crucifix, Quay was feeling helpless and sad about the plight of families fleeing Syria and other war-torn parts of the Mideast. “In September of 2015, I saw all those images of the refugees, especially that little boy who washed up on the shore in Turkey,” he told The Catholic Miscellany, newspaper of the Diocese of Charleston. “It really bothered me because I felt we were so comfortable over here and it seemed like there was nothing we could do. I never thought my feelings about the refugees and my art would come together.”