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Cross International Alliance
Type 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Founded 2001
Headquarters Pompano Beach, FloridaUSA
Staff Jim Cavnar, President

David Adams, Vice President of International Missions Brian Schutt, Vice President of Marketing

Michele Beck, Vice President of Development
Area served Thirty countries throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. (2008)
Focus The poorest of the poor in developing countries.
Employees 111 (2008)
Motto Delivering food, shelter, and hope to the poorest of the poor

Cross International Alliance (Cross) is an inter-denominational Christian relief and development organization based in South Florida that provides food, shelter, education, medical care and emergency aid to the poor in 40 countries across the globe. Cross was recently 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. [1] From its headquarters in Pompano Beach, Cross 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. [2]

Cross is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.





Cross International Alliance grew out of the vision of two Christian ministries which were engaged in providing aid to the poor in Haiti – Christian Children’s Charity of Branson, MO, and the Kielar Family Foundation of Boca Raton, FL. The organization began in January 2001 as Cross International, an inter-denominational charity serving the physical and spiritual needs of the poorest people in the developing world. Aid was distributed through Christian churches and ministries of all denominations both Protestant and Catholic. In order to strengthen its relationship with the various U.S. churches the founders of Cross International created a new corporation, Cross International Catholic Outreach, Inc. in 2002 whose mission was to channel aid to the poor through Catholic churches and social ministries overseas. At that point Cross International shifted to channeling aid only through Protestant churches and ministries. The two organizations continued an inter-denominational collaboration as Cross International Alliance. They share offices and some staff but have separate boards of directors, separate finances, separate donorbases, and generally support different projects overseas. They jointly support some inter-denominational projects and collaborate closely in responding to disaster emergencies.


Just eight years after its founding, Cross International Alliance was named the 69th largest non-profit in the U.S. by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. [3]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 U.S. In 2005, the charity moved its main office from Boca Raton to its current headquarters in Pompano Beach. Cross International Catholic Outreach still maintains an office in Boca Raton and employs clergy and speakers from across the U.S. The Cross International Alliance employs more than 100 people in the U.S.


The day-to-day operations of Cross are directed by President Jim Cavnar, who came to the charity with thirty-four years of experience in the start-up and management of non-profit organizations. 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

Mission and Work

Cross International Alliance’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 indigent 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.

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 style of outreach enables Cross to supply meaningful help where it is needed most, while keeping overhead costs low. [6]

Where Cross Works

Between its development projects and humanitarian aid shipping, Cross is currently active in 30 countries. They are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Armenia
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Ethiopia
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Nicaragua
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • St. Martin
  • Trinidad
  • Uganda
  • United States
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

Work in Haiti

Cross International Alliance 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. [9]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. [10] 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. [11] The program will target destitute people in Haiti’s Grand Anse region, the central plateau, the southern coast and Port-au-Prince.


Cross International Alliance 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. The charity has an extensive network of clergy and lay people who travel the country speaking on their behalf to raise money for their efforts overseas. It also holds special events, radiothons, and direct mail campaigns to secure funding. Cross has recently expanded its funding base with several government grants. [11]



  1. ^ South Florida agency gets $4.8 M to combat AIDS in Haiti, Miami Herald website. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
  2. ^ Mission, Cross website. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  3. ^ Emphasis on Accountability Lifts Returns for International Aid Charity, Chronicle of Philanthropy website. Retrieved December 9, 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. ^ South Florida agency gets $4.8 M to combat AIDS in Haiti, Miami Herald website. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
  10. ^ More money for Haiti to fight HIV/AIDS, Retrieved December 15, 2008.
  11. ^ a b 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


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