OSCEOLA, IA – October 18, 2022
C.R.O.S.S. Ministries began 14 years ago when Mike Sitzman, the founder, saw medical supplies that were expired in a local hospital being discarded, even though they were still in working order. Supplies like unopened medication and even equipment like wheel chairs. He began to think about people in third world countries who could benefit from the use of these supplies. He didn’t know how to get them to the right people so he went to his local minister at the church he attended. It wasn’t long before he was put in touch with some missionaries around the world. Once Mike figured out a way to obtain the discarded supplies, he quickly became aware that his garage did not have enough storage. Mike also realized that he had to find a way to pay to ship these supplies to other countries. From that, the idea of a second hand store to generate funds began. As Mike’s need for space grew and his idea for a second hand store began to form, the old Highway Lumber property became available. Mike went and spoke to the Lundquist family about using the property. They agreed to give him a year to see if it would work. Over 14 years later it is safe to say that the need for the services C.R.O.S.S. provides has been proven.
C.R.O.S.S. stands for Christian Relief of Supplies and Services. Most people in Osceola are familiar with the second-hand store located north on Highway 69 at 1610 N Main Street. The mission statement of C.R.O.S.S. Ministries is,” To reach out into the world with the love of Christ, caring for the physical and spiritual needs of those oppressed by poverty and despair”. While the work overseas was the beginning of this venture, the needs of those at home were also apparent. C.R.O.S.S. has been there for several local families in their time of need. Whenever there has been a family struck with devastation, C.R.O.S.S. has opened its doors to provide for the families immediate needs for free. This has included getting furniture for use, clothing, housewares and more. They have always been a community partner jumping in whenever there was a need.
Mike Sitzman sadly passed away in September. His last project for C.R.O.S.S. Ministries was to try to get a fellowship building at the Osceola site. Clarke County Development Corp. (CCDC) approved a grant of $34,494 to assist in the construction of the building. Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director states,
” CROSS Ministries has always been a partner dedicated to the needs of the community both at home and abroad. We are always glad to be a partner in their important work”
The new building will be used as a place where community volunteers could gather to do meaningful work on projects to help others. Examples include fixing bicycles, refurbishing furniture, fixing power chairs, and the sewing repair of donated items. Sitzman envisioned this as a place that would allow volunteers to gather while completing useful projects. He saw it as a way to give those who are lonely purpose and a way to grow relationships.
With the creation of the new building, Mike Sitzman’s legacy at C.R.O.S.S. Ministries will continue. C.R.O.S.S. accepts donations Monday through Saturday. They are open from 10-5, except on Mondays when they close at 4:30. For more information about C.R.O.S.S. Ministries please contact Kerry Ann Huddleson at (641)340-2362.
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