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Community rallies to help business owner severely hurt on the job

Thomas Craddock, owner of MIB tree care was injured while on a difficult job


Roanoke – Helping someone in need, even if they’re a competitor.

After a local business owner got hurt on the job, others in the industry are stepping up, proving the power of a community.

As they say, it takes a village. Carrie Poff, owner of Brown Hound Tree Service in Roanoke said in the tree care business, that village is more like family.

"It's better to help people out than not,” Poff said. "While it can be cut-throat industry, tree care, we have found that it's easier to scratch each other’s back.”

Owner of MIB tree service in Roanoke, Thomas Craddock was recently injured in an accident on the job, being thrown 40 feet into the base of a tree.

He's already undergone three surgeries, and Poff said he will have to have several more, on top of physical therapy in order to walk. She explained danger is always lurking the tree care industry.

"Tree care is one of the three most dangerous industries in the US. Every time that phone rings, you say a prayer that nothing has gone wrong on the other side,” Poff said.

In the meantime, Craddock has been trying to run a business from a hospital bed, with jobs around his Roanoke office left to get done.

As soon as he heard the news, Jimmy Flynn, owner of Mission Mulch in Harrisonburg, volunteered to help.

"It’s a very real risk when you do something in our line of work. The possibility is always there that you can get hurt,” Flynn said.

Clearing out as much of the year or two's worth of logs, turning it into mulch, he traveled from Harrisonburg volunteering thousands of dollars of work at no charge.

"I know what it's like as a business owner. Sometimes, you just need to catch a lucky break,” Flynn said.

Poff, who considers Craddock a good friend to her and her husband, has orchestrated support within the community to help Craddock as much as possible.

"I can't believe that someone is willing to give so much of their time to someone they truly barely know,” Poff said.

Poff started a go-fund-me to help with medical bills that are mounting. So far, they have raised more than $2,000.

"The real beauty is all the people that have come together,” Flynn said. “Everybody was happy to help us in any way they can."

To donate to help with medical expenses, visit the GoFundMe page.


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