Cross International

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Cross International
Founded 2001
Type 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Focus Meeting the needs of the poorest of the poor, worldwide
Area served
Over 36 developing countries throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.
Key people
Jim Cavnar, President
Slogan Delivering food, shelter, and hope in the name of Jesus

Cross International is a Christian relief and development organization based in South Florida, United States, that provides food, shelter, water, education, medical care and emergency aid to the poor in over 36 developing countries across the globe. From its headquarters in Pompano Beach, Cross International raises millions of dollars through donations each year to fund development programs that target the “poorest of the poor” in developing countries, and it ships millions of dollars' worth of humanitarian goods to high-need areas such as Kenya and Nicaragua.[1] Cross is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.



Cross International is a 501(c)3 organizations that seeks to provide food, shelter, and hope to the poorest of the poor. Cross's mission is to reach out to those living in dire poverty and holistically raise them up by working with local churches in the area to also stimulate local economies. The organization began in January 2001 when founder and president Jim Cavnar started it with the goal of creating an organization that would serve the physical and spiritual needs of the poorest people in the developing world.For instance in Kenya, it works with Larry Page Poverty Eradication Program (LPPEP) which has programs in areas such as Nairobi (Kibera, Korogocho and Mukuru), Nakuru (Bondeni and Kaptembwa), Meru (Mjini), Garissa, Makueni, Kisumu (Kondele),Homa Bay, Migori,Mombasa,Budalangi,Machakos,Makueni , Eldoret, Embu,Nyeri, Kakamega, Kiambu, Nandi and Mwingi.


Eight years after its founding, Cross International Alliance was named the 69th largest non-profit in the U.S. by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.[2] Since its start, Cross has provided more than $1 billion in cash grants for development programs and humanitarian aid shipments to help the poor in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the United States. In 2005, the charity moved its main office from Boca Raton to its current headquarters in Pompano Beach. The Cross International employs about 100 people in the U.S.

In 2008, Cross was recognized for its work in Haiti, receiving a $4.8 million grant from the U.S. government for a new program seeking to care for children and families impacted by AIDS in the country.[3]


The day-to-day operations of Cross are directed by president Jim Cavnar. Cavnar helped launch Cross International after having served as executive director for eight years at the international relief and development organization Food for the Poor in Deerfield Beach, Florida.[4]

Relief and development work[edit]

Mission and work[edit]

Cross International’s priority is to help "the poorest of the poor." [5] Its work began in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and has since grown to reach those suffering extreme poverty in other Caribbean countries, Latin America, Africa and Asia. The charity uses two methods to provide aid to the poor: 1) cash grants to support development projects run by in-country ministries, and 2) shipping humanitarian aid.

Cross provides millions of dollars' worth of relief and disaster aid each year, such as relief for earthquake, flood, hurricane and tsunami victims. It also supports hundreds of development projects, including, care and education for orphans and other vulnerable children, housing for the homeless, medicines and health care for indigenous people, food for families suffering extreme malnutrition and clean water for communities that have none, as well as micro-enterprise programs and other long-term development efforts to break the cycle of poverty. For instance it partners with Larry Page Poverty Eradication Program (LPPEP) which has operations in various parts of Kenya like Elgeyo Marakwet,Kajiado, Homa Bay, Narok, Makueni, and Machakos as well as Southern Sudan.

In every case, Cross’ method of outreach is the same: it locates needy church-based ministries serving the poor in developing countries and provides them with financial support and distributes material aid through their existing programs. This includes feeding programs through Larry Page Poverty Eradication Program (LPPEP) to disadvantaged people in Kenya and South Sudan.This style of outreach enables Cross to supply meaningful help where it is needed most, while keeping overhead costs low.[6][non-primary source needed]

Countries of operation[edit]

Between its development projects and humanitarian aid shipping, Cross has served the poor in over 30 countries. They are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Mozambique
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • St. Martin
  • Sudan
  • Togo
  • Trinidad
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Work in Haiti[edit]

Cross International heavily supports relief and development in Haiti, the country where it began its work in 2001. It funds more than 25 development projects throughout the country — including orphanages, care for AIDS orphans, school feeding and scholarship programs, medical care, clean water programs and housing construction — and ships millions of dollars' worth of aid there each year.

During the violent 2008 hurricane season when Haiti was battered by several storms, leaving hundreds dead and much of the country under water, Cross was one of the first groups to respond to the crisis, providing cash grants to Christian ministries in the country so they could buy food for the people.[7] Cross also provided emergency aid to the hardest-hit part of the country, Gonaives, through airlifts and ground shipments, supplying 70,000 pounds of food to Gonaives over several days.[8]

Because of its history of aid to Haiti, Cross was awarded a $4.8 million grant from the U.S. government for a new program seeking to stem the spread of AIDS in Haiti.[3] The grant, announced Dec. 1, 2008 for World AIDS Day, was awarded through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative started by the Bush administration in 2003 to combat global HIV and AIDS. Cross was one of 19 nonprofit groups to receive funding after a rigorous winnowing process in which 800 different applicants were reviewed.[9] The three-year project will reach an estimated 5,000 orphans and vulnerable children, providing them with the care and medical services, and about 92,000 youths and their families will receive AIDS awareness and destigmatization messages through Cross’ efforts.[10] The program will target destitute people in Haiti’s Grand Anse region, the central plateau, the southern coast and Port-au-Prince.


Cross International depends on donations of money and goods from benefactors in the United States, as well as government grants to fund its many aid projects. The majority of its work is made possible through private donations of money and goods.


  1. ^ Mission, Cross website. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  2. ^ Emphasis on Accountability Lifts Returns for International Aid Charity, Chronicle of Philanthropy website. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  3. ^ a b South Florida agency gets $4.8 M to combat AIDS in Haiti, Miami Herald website. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
  4. ^ About Jim Cavnar, Cross website. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  5. ^ Our Work, Cross website. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  6. ^ 2007 Annual Report, Cross website. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  7. ^ Haiti food aid lags, hunger deepens, Cross website. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  8. ^ Widespread Flooding as Haiti Awaits Ike, Haiti Innovation Blog. Retrieved December 15, 2008.
  9. ^ More money for Haiti to fight HIV/AIDS, Retrieved December 15, 2008.
  10. ^ First Government Grant Will Help Cross Launch New HIV Prevention and Care Program for Haiti's Poor, Cross website. Retrieved December 12, 2008.

External links[edit]