A man from Tennessee showed us last week what it means to do something because it is right, not because of the benefit it may bring.
Benefit is far from what Michael McClendon received Oct. 1 when he stepped in to help a woman who was yelling for help outside a grocery store. She appeared to be homeless, McClendon and police reports indicate, the type of person some folks might just as soon pretend does not exist. McClendon saw things differently.
“I did what everybody should do. Everybody should do what I did. What some folks have called above and beyond should be the norm. It should be abnormal not to do anything in that situation,” he told The News this week.
McClendon is correct. His intervention freed the woman from whatever danger she might have been in, but resulted in him being stabbed twice by the alleged assailant. He was back at work roofing on St. Simons Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and has plans to bring the food truck his Chatanooga-based ministry runs down to feed needy people in Glynn County.
McClendon’s is clearly a heart of service. He sets an example we would like to see everyone follow. There are so many people in this world, and right here in our community, who could use, at the very least, a helping hand.
McClendon seems to know that well. Luckily, the Golden Isles is ripe with people who feel the same way, and it shows.
Almost weekly we see individuals and organizations pitching in out of the goodness in their hearts to improve the lives and situations of people they have never met, and to whom they have no real connection. Whether it is the work of volunteers cooking and feeding people at Manna House, or the Salvation Army, or efforts to raise money for the numerous good causes this community has taken on, we are always amazed at the generous and giving nature of people in the Golden Isles.
This weekend, in fact, there is a perfect opportunity to help preserve a piece of important history at Union Memorial Cemetery on St. Simons Island — one of the remaining havens of African American history on the island. The cemetery is still covered in debris and several downed trees after Hurricane Irma. A cleanup day will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the cemetery, accessible off of the Georgia Power access road just inside the entrance to Frederica Academy.
If recent history is any indication, we are sure there will be plenty of people willing to help.