Crosslines calls on community for support, partners falling

JOPLIN, Mo. – Crosslines, a non-profit in Joplin, calls on the community for support as partners dwindle.

Crosslines has a rich history of helping others. It all began in 1982 when a small group of churches decided to team up to create a food pantry. That pantry grew, and so did its partners, evolving into the resource it is today.

“Their main focus is on the people of Joplin. Really our biggest thing with Crosslines is that it’s local and it takes care of the people that we interact with everyday that are in need,” expressed Ty Walkenshaw with Christ’s Community.

Christ’s Community is one of Crosslines current partners, helping out with canned food and clothing drives.

It also helps financially, but according to a 2018 Pew report, fewer Americans are attending church and more people are declining religion altogether with the number of agnostic and atheists growing by nearly 30 million people over the past decade.

In addition to those numbers, Rodney Rambo, Executive Director of Crosslines, recalls a FEMA adviser telling him how Joplin would change after the 2011 tornado.

“I remember them saying, 10 years from now, 1 in 5 of your churches is not gonna be here just because of the physical, emotional and financial cost of rebuilding your city…which our local church played a huge part in that here in Joplin. For a lot of them, that expedited and took such a toll that we’ve seen several churches that have had to close their doors in the last several years in our community and several of those, a few at least, were founding Crosslines churches.”

With fewer partners, Crosslines has been forced to make budget cuts, and adapt, the way many churches are having to do to survive.

“You might have to downsize. You might have to say, ‘Hey, that church that’s just down the street and believes the same thing as you, what if you came together and were able to do that together,” Rambo reasoned.

Rambo attributes the decline to a cultural shift in values, but hopes new partners will step up to keep Crosslines’ mission of serving those in need going strong.

Crosslines currently serves 1,900 people a month with zero full-time employees.

Volunteers and financial partners are always needed.

If you’re interested in partnering with Crosslines, you can can learn more here.