It’s said that in times of tragedy, people come together. While the timing may be horrible, it’s heartwarming to know we can all still come together when we need it most.
Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Aurora, Illinois, is at the forefront of all of this. The man has been constructing crosses for the victims of tragedies for over 20 years. Together with his nonprofit organization, Crosses For Losses, Greg Zanis travels across the country to put up his crosses.
Just this past year, Zanis brought 58 crosses to Las Vegas for the tragedy that occurred on the Las Vegas Strip in October. Zanis put the crosses up by the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Las Vegas met the carpenter with open arms as people flocked around to see the crosses for the tragedy’s victims.
However, building the crosses and traveling across the country to bring hope to others isn’t always easy for Zanis. His daughter, Maria Raibley, shares that her parents are not well-off. She explains that the family has been put in tense situations because they don’t have enough money to support Zanis’s kindhearted endeavors.
While the family understands that the man is doing it to help and bring hope to others, they see that he has often had to go without and sacrifice his own well-being. Raibley explained that she had personally asked her father to stop making the crosses because she didn’t want to see her family become tense and angry with him because of it.
However, Zanis would rather give all he has to others if it means that he can help them.
After bringing the 58 crosses to Las Vegas, Zanis shares, “I feel that Las Vegas is having one of its darkest days in American history. But I’m trying to shed a light on that by bringing hope with the cross and showing that you weren’t alone when this happened.”
Zanis’s daughter shares that her father and his crosses aren’t always met with thanks and happiness. However, Las Vegas has been different. When Greg Zanis arrived in Las Vegas with his crosses, police officers escorted him to the site and helped carry the crosses for him. Everyone was so grateful that the man was there to help them.
After witnessing the love and appreciation that Las Vegas has given her father, Raibley has had a change of heart. She now fully believes that the world needs Zanis and his crosses. She also admits that she has seen her father change for the better since he started building these crosses for others.
But that doesn’t change the fact that Zanis is struggling to keep his organization afloat. Las Vegas and the Fox5 Surprise Squad wanted to change that.
So, after Greg Zanis brought his crosses of hope to Las Vegas, the Fox5 Surprise Squad decided to surprise the generous carpenter. Together with other organizations and companies, the Fox5 Surprise Squad gifted the man with a $20,000 grant for groceries.
The owner of Nissan United also gifted Zanis a brand new truck along with a trailer for his crosses. Before this, Greg Zanis had driven the same little, white pickup truck for 20 years. He often slept overnight in that truck while on the road just to keep his crosses safe.
Home Depot also gifted the man with plenty of tools to help him continue building crosses and bringing hope and kindness to others.
Greg Zanis has an amazing purpose in this world and these companies felt that it was the least they can do to supply him with things to keep his incredible organization alive.
Watch the video below to hear Greg Zanis’s story and see the Fox5 Surprise Squad return kindness to the man.
All screenshots taken from FOX5 Las Vegas / YouTube.