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99-year-old WWII veteran's handcrafted pocket crosses carried by thousands across the globe

"If I meet a stranger, no matter where I go, I hand 'em a cross. And if they take it, it makes my day."

GIBSONBURG, Ohio — Tony Picciuto, a 99-year old World War II veteran and resident of Gibsonburg, Ohio, has spent the last decade making thousands of pocket crosses for people all around the globe.

"If I meet a stranger, no matter where I go, I hand 'em a cross," Picciuto said, "and if they take it, it makes my day."

Credit: WTOL 11

He says even though he's only been doing it for ten years, he sees making pocket crosses as his life's mission, saying that he plans to continue making them for the rest of his life.

"As long as I'm able, I'm going to make crosses," he said. "Whether I'm 100, or, I'd be blessed to make them at 100."

As the years have gone on, making the crosses has gotten harder. Picciuto had a bad fall a couple of years back and now needs to use a ramp and a cane to get into the garage to work, but he still consistently makes 50 crosses a week.

Credit: WTOL 11

Once they're complete, he donates them to local churches in the Gibsonburg area, who have donated the crosses in shoe boxes and sent them to over two dozen different countries and 40 States. In all, he says he's made over 26,000 pocket crosses.

For Picciuto, he hopes that his work can just bring a little light to people's lives.

"Well there's just so much hate in this world, and I hope my crosses help spread the good word."


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