People In Need (PIN), a nonprofit social services agency dedicated to providing emergency assistance to Delaware County residents, will gather to celebrate the life of late Executive Director Kevin James Crowley on Friday, May 4, with an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. at the PIN Office and Warehouse at 138 Johnson Drive, Delaware.

The board of directors is extending an invitation to the community to celebrates Crowley’s life, enthusiasm, and commitment to leading the way to help others.

Crowley unexpectedly passed away at the age of 61 on March 17, after almost 20 years of service to the community.

In an interview with The Gazette the week of Crowley’s passing, PIN staff described Crowley as a person who thought no job was too big, nor was any job too small for him to take on. They added he was historic, compassionate as much as he was hardheaded, always a character, a mentor, the boss but yet a friend, fun to be around, and the heart and soul of PIN.

“He managed every aspect of the operation,” said Jim Lewis, a PIN board member. “If a client came in for emergency needs and one of our staff wasn’t here, Kevin would handle it personally, call the landlord, or find that pair of shoes for the kid or get a prescription covered. There was literally no job that was too small for Kevin.”

In a statement from the board of directors, Crowley is credited with PIN’s significant growth of service and volunteer network that has touched countless lives. Lewis said last year, the organization was the recipient of over 15,000 volunteer hours because of Crowley’s leadership.

Outside of PIN, Crowley was well-known by community leaders who expressed their appreciation of him.

“Everyone that knew Kevin knew his passion for helping those in need,” said Delaware County Commissioner Barb Lewis, wife of Jim Lewis, during the March 19 commissioners meeting. “What People In Need has been able to do under his leadership over these past few years has just been phenomenal.”

“The community lost a person who cared deeply about the community,” added Delaware County Commissioner Jeff Benton. “It was about the community. It wasn’t about Kevin. It was about how can we help people that need help. He did so many things, the rent program, the utility program, the food, and the Christmas Clearing House, which is just a phenomenal event. Hundreds and hundreds of families were helped. It is a huge loss for the community.”

In Crowley’s honor, the board has established the Kevin James Crowley Memorial Fund to continue expanding the work of providing emergency assistance to nearly 21,000 individuals in Delaware County each year. Contributions will be accepted at the celebration or online.

Friday’s celebration will be hosted by Mark Bingaman, WDLR Radio, with music being performed by Grammy-nominated and ASCAP award-winning singer-songwriter Jasey Schnaars of Delaware.

For questions or more information on PIN, email [email protected].

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.