SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Tom Crabtree’s will be retiring from 7News after a 45 year career in broadcasting.
And WSPA is celebrating Crabtree with a series of stories this week.
In this latest installment, you’ll see a different side of Crabtree, a man who sheds the suit and puts in some sweat equity to give others a helping hand.
For more than three decades Carolina’s family has been watching Crabtree behind the Anchor desk.
But what you may not know, behind the scenes is all the many ways he has helped the community.
“The thing I think is so special about Tom Crabtree is his heart,” Founder of Mobile Meals Spartanburg Jayne McQueen said.
McQueen shared a story few have heard, about that “big heart.”
“He called me a number of years ago and said, ‘I really want to do something. I can’t really deliver meals because it’s the wrong time of day for me, but I’d like you to pick two people and let me take care of their yards.’ And I was wordless, and that’s rare,” McQueen said.
Crabtree mowed those lawns for more than a decade.
“I just felt a calling to do a lawn mower ministry, I know that’s unusual. I mow my own yard, and sometimes my kids yard, I consider that very therapeutic,” Crabtree said.
Whether through emceeing numerous fundraisers or getting his hands dirty for Habitat for Humanity, the people and non-profits he has helped said Crabtree has definitely walked to the walk (especially at the March of Dimes).
“He has modeled the scripture to whom much is given much is expected. He didn’t have to do what he did for all these years, but he did,” said Mary Thomas, the Spartanburg County Foundation.
Reverand Hub Blankenship at Milestones Church in Spartanburg has been Tom’s Pastor for nearly a decade.
“He’s grateful for the influence that God’s given him through being on air, and people seeing him and the opportunity to help people and that’s what he’s all about. It’s not about people seeing him being the man, it’s all about him helping people,” Blankenship said.
All along the way, Tom’s wife, Gayle, and daughters, Lauren and Kayla, have been there to support and join him in his mission.
“The main reason for our involvement and wanting to give back to our community, is our faith. We’re very grateful, we feel very blessed. So we want to be able to give back to others,” Gayle Crabtree said.
“And I don’t know what I’d do without my gang. I sure love them. I’m looking forward to spending a lot more time with them and not being in such a hurry all the time,” Tom Crabtree said about his family.