Crumley House programs crimped by pandemic

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated May 13, 2020 at 8:40 PM

The coronavirus pandemic has been especially difficult for one of the region's most unique nonprofit services.

Since 1992, The Crumley House has been filling a void in local services for people recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

Located in Limestone, the facility provides residential rehabilitation and therapeutic day programming for about 50 clients who would otherwise have to travel out of the area for help with their recovery.

As a grassroots nonprofit organization, local community support has been critically important to The Crumley House from its beginning. In recent years, two especially popular fundraising events have together contributed about $125,000 annually to its programs.

And then came the pandemic.

The Crumley House day program that provides 25 adults with daily rounds of physical therapy, life skills classes and vocational opportunities was shut down to help control the spread of the virus and protect the center's staff and clients whose conditions place them at higher risk.

Two months later, approximately $20,000 in revenue generated by the day program is lost. And with Tennessee's COVID-19 infections continuing to climb, it will be several more weeks before The Crumley House board considers a possible reopening date.

Combined with the withdrawal of a short-lived award of $12,000 in annual funding from United Way of Washington County caused by last year's decline in United Way giving, the revenue shortfall became more severe.

But it was the cancellation of two of the center's most popular fundraisers — The Crumley House 5K that annually inspires scores of area runners to go "Jogging for the Noggin" around the lush farm lands that surround its campus and the annual Crumley House Beach Party made possible by some of the region's most generous corporate citizens — that tipped the scales to a red alert.

Executive Director Guynn Edwards said while it may be possible to run the 5K later this year, some of the beach party's sponsors are also struggling with economic losses related to the virus and may not be able to give as generously as in past years. And then there are the continuing recommendations against large social gatherings that dim the feasibility of rescheduling the party.

Like other nonprofits hit hard by the pandemic, Edwards said The Crumley House is now attempting to spread the word of its financial struggles via social media and local media outlets with the realization that individuals have also been impacted financially by the virus and may not have as much to give.

But their hope is that those who can will lend their assistance with an online donation at The Crumley House website, www.crumleyhouse.com or a check by mail to The Crumley House, 300 Urbana Road, Limestone, TN 37681.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538, [email protected] or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.

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