When you walk into New Step Outreach it feels as if you are stepping into founders Josh & Mary Cross’ home.
Couches, recliners and a dining room table serve to create the ‘home’ environment the Cross’ want you to get when you walk in their doors, for whatever reason that might be.
Josh, Mary, their daughter Tabitha, Mary’s mother Anne and nephew Triden have been serving their community before the start of New Step Outreach, 103 E. 1st Street DeRidder, on Dec 7, 2019.
They attend hospitals giving gifts to every person inside, helping homeless veterans, sending care packages to soldiers overseas, partnering with local organizations and have been providing disaster relief all over the SE United States.
The participation in disaster relief with the NACC Disaster Services helped push the Cross’ in the direction to get started.
They felt called to live Matthew 25 and to be there when it matters most to people.
“We wanted to make a place for everything we have been involved in, with one common core,” says Director Mary Cross.
The Cross’ and their family have attended disaster relief efforts in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi getting hands-on experience to know what is needed immediately by those who are affected by natural disasters.
“We served an entire community, it was amazing. It never gets old when these people just see you and are pouring their heart out and you're just listening. Which is all that they really need is just someone to listen and show them compassion.”
Everything offered by New Step Outreach is done by donations, there is no grant and no businesses are currently supporting the organization.
They are currently under the umbrella of the NACC and are close to obtaining their 501(c)(3).
“I believe the Lord showed us to do this, and as long as we keep doing it, then it will keep happening. Other than the Lord I have no idea how all of this is continuing to happen for us and for the community.”
Donations are always needed in the form of disaster relief supplies, home supplies, school supplies, tarps, water, bags, comfort kits and more.
“We need donations to stay operational, but I am going to bless people either way because it's what’s right for me.”
New Step Outreach is more than just disaster relief.
They provide an open place for talking for any member of the community who just needs an ear.
They offer Silver Support, tutoring, Identify, group study, individual counseling and concealed carry classes to start.
“We aren't here to take away from any other organization or ministries. We are here to help.”
All programs offered through New Step Outreach are free.
Silver Support, for those 50+, is run by Mary’s mother, Anne Ripley.
Anne was called into serving the 50+ population when she was told on a disaster relief mission that she was too old and needed to go home.
Instead of letting this get her down, Anne decided she wanted to offer a place for those 50+ to still have a voice, to be involved and to show they still have life left in them.
Silver Support Group meets every other Friday at New Step Outreach.
New Step Outreach also offers individual lay-counseling for those who want to have a ear to listen without having to deal with the stigmas of talking to a psychologist.
Mary has an Associate’s of Arts in Psychology-Christian Counseling from Liberty University, allowing her to have professional insight to help but relying on her life story, her experiences and her compassion to provide what these individuals need.
An ear to listen, a compassionate heart to allow them to feel real emotions, and providing them a comfortable environment to relax in.
Identify is group support that meets on Thursdays from 7 pm-8 pm, where emotions and stress are talked about freely among a welcoming environment.
Tutoring for those who need help in passing the English EOC, by certified teacher Kari Morrow, by appointment only throughout the months of February, March and April.
A concealed carry class is being held at New Step Outreach, on Sat Feb 22 instructor James Rundberg will be there from 8 am-6 pm, costs are $100 per person or $90 per couple.
“It's about showing God’s love, but not going to hit them with a hammer with it. Its more about showing that we know you have been burned but people can be trusted, and you are going to get God’s love one way or another.”
“We help them where they are, we love them where they are. Where is there life going to change if you don't do that?
For more information on these classes contact New Step Outreach.
New Step Outreach is hosting a BBQ Plate Fundraiser, with all proceedings benefiting community projects by NSO.
On March 14, 2020, in the Advanced Auto Parts Parking Lot from 10 AM- 2 PM.
The plates are $8 each and will include chicken, sausage, potato salad and beans.
Donations will be accepted as well in the form of school supplies, buckets, comfort kits, or monetary contributions.
For more information on New Step Outreach, any of their classes or how to donate and volunteer contact Mary Cross at 337-718-7701.
Follow New Step Outreach on Facebook for fundraiser information and class schedules and updates.
We would like to apologize and correct our misreporting of New Step Outreach in a previous article. The article misstated the organization as a ministry and did not portray the true vision we wanted for this organization.