Editor’s note: WEEasked some simple questions — and your neighbors, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, even some strangers, answered. Get to know them a little bit better with our fun series, “WEEasked.” Look for it a couple of times a month, most likely on Mondays. Do you have someone you’d like to see featured? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please be sure to put WEEasked in the subject line.I first met Terra Crews while interviewing her for an OV Parent Magazine article on her new venture called Tinkergarten. Her passion for teaching little ones about the joys and wonders of the outdoors inspired me. Yes, I thought: Playing in the mud IS a vital component to building our little ones’ bodies and minds into healthy, functioning people!
I next encountered Terra after she took over as director of the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley. I popped in impromptu after completing an interview at The Capitol Theatre across the street. She was gracious and friendly. She was also quick and candid; she detailed her goals without batting an eye.
To sum up my impressions of Terra Crews thus far: 1. She could sell wool socks to a sheep, and 2. She could smoke the competition in a presidential debate.
Two summers ago, I was going through a thing. Turns out, Terra was, too. On Facebook at the time, she sang the praises of the book “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. It was a life-changer, she said, a must-read. It sounded like it could help me. It did. In fact, the insights I gained from it were instrumental in giving me the courage I needed to change careers.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when Terra joined our development team at Youth Services System Inc. as the special events coordinator. On day one, she was writing sponsor letters for the Wheeling SleepOut. By the end of the first week, she had designed the SleepOut T-shirt and pitched a plan to sell sweatshirts as an additional fundraiser. By the end of her first two weeks, she had gone door to door to nearly all the retailers at The Highlands for donations. She then dropped in unannounced to a business on GC&P Road and walked out with a $500 sponsorship.
This girl is on fire.
Terra will be the first to downplay her successes and build up someone else’s. Of course, not all days are bonanzas and bonfires. Her third week here, her precious pup broke its elbow, and her youngest child ran a fever. At one point, she was on the phone with Tammy Kruse (our boss) and had to cut it short because the little guy was throwing up in the back seat.
Sometimes life doesn’t burn brightly. Sometimes it smolders. But Terra knows how to fan the flames. I am looking forward to getting to know her better and working together for the benefit of area youth.
It’s fascinating to think if it weren’t for Terra touting Hollis’ book on Facebook, we might not be officemates today!
Terra is married to Micah Crews, and they have three “crazy” kids, Cooper, Harper and Foster, she said.
“We try to spend as much time together as a family as we can. We love curling up by a campfire and watching movies outside. We have three dogs and three cats. Our house is always crazy but filled with lots of laughter. I love reading, baking and being around friends and family. I love making people laugh, lifting others up, serving and autumn.”
Here’s what Terra answered when WEEasked:
What is your favorite thing about your job?
The community of helping others. We are all in this together. I have found that every person I work for has the mindset that what we do on a daily basis, small or large, makes a difference in lives of our homeless community. Being surrounded by people who strive to help others is uplifting and rewarding.
What is unique about your workplace?
We are comprised of people from all different backgrounds. We have folks who went through our programs to escape homelessness, and they now serve our community. I work for some of the most humble humans I have ever met.
If you could cultivate a new skill, what would that be?
Carpentry. I would love to have the ability to take on any DIY project that involves building.
What’s your favorite night out on the town?
First Fridays. It’s our favorite date night. We love the music, food and the atmosphere!
Where do you take out-of-town visitors?
Centre Market for Coleman’s traditional fish sandwich. We visit the local shops and then head to Mmm…Popcorn for dill pickle popcorn! We usually finish at Whisk for a cupcake.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise Weelunk readers.
I love Harry Potter! It’s the only book series that I have actually finished. I was hesitant to read it for years, but last year I needed a break from the busyness of life, so I decided to try reading Harry Potter, and it was the perfect thing to do! It’s my escape from the real world.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family,” by Mother Teresa. I try to love as much as I can every single day by serving the Lord through raising our children, being kind, giving, and working and volunteering for organizations that change lives.
If you could be the best at anything in the world, what would it be?
Kindness. An act of kindness has the power to impact someone’s life. A simple smile can show someone he is noticed. Providing a meal for a family going through a hard time can ensure they are full and nourished. Buying a stranger’s coffee gives a positive beginning to his day. I never regret being kind. To master it would be a true gift.
What is your wish for Wheeling?
I wish for our citizens to see the value in our gorgeous, growing city. Raising our family here is such a joy. We have so many loving, giving people here in the Ohio Valley.
• Betsy Bethel-McFarland is a mom, a writer, a bagpiper and a small-business owner. She enjoys building and nurturing relationships, learning new things, sharing her talents and eating all the popcorn her husband Dave makes at Mmm…Popcorn in Wheeling. A former Life editor at The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, Betsy currently is the communications manager at Youth Services System Inc.