Blackberry Winter: here for life’s cold snaps

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:40 AM EST
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“Blackberry Winter is an Appalachian saying that refers to a cold period in May. My mawmaw always called it a cold snap.”

Teri Crawford Brown, Blackberry Winter CEO

Blackberry Winter is also a non-profit out of Cedar Bluff that helps community members rebuild after a cold snap in their own life. The org has helped over 400 kids and families furnish their homes since 2018.

The non-profit works exclusively out of storage units.

“We step in in two instances: When people have lost everything, and we furnish their home to the best of our ability. And also, children without beds. That is my passion. It wasn’t when I began this. I didn’t realize children in our community were sleeping in the floor without beds. And children can’t learn, grow, feel loved, feel important sleeping on the floor.” said Crawford Brown.

Blackberry Winter also works with several community partners including Communities In School Appalachian Highlands, that has a focus on helping children.

Through Blackberry Winter Lawson’s org has been able to help out kids and their families in times of need.

“Kids who didn’t have bedroom furniture and get a bed for the first time, it’s almost like Christmas when we take them furniture from Blackberry Winter.” said Amy Lawson, CISAH regional director.

Though based and funded in Tazewell County, those in need in surrounding counties have began reaching out to the non-profit for support.

“So for the first time ever I feel worried that the intake doesn’t meet how much needs to go out. So that does cause me a lot of worry. My hope is that every community will start its own Blackberry Winter. It’s very easy to do and every community deserves and needs a Blackberry Winter.” said Crawford Brown.

She added buying mattresses and the storage units are the non-profit’s only overhead, the rest of the furnishings come from local donations.

If you can’t start your own branch of Blackberry Winter but still want to help, Crawford Brown urges community members to join in on the org’s Giving Tuesday Campaign on Facebook. The social media company has pledged to match donations and give an extra $100 when someone signs up for monthly donation. Visit that page here.

If you would like to learn more about the non-profit, a documentary called Blackberry Winter: No Guilt Required was recently released. Watch it here. The movie was shot by Tazewell County resident Rey and goes into more depth about the organization’s good deeds and back story. Rey can be reached at