COMMUNITY HEROES: Rogersville man committed to serving community members one structure at a time

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ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – In the deep woods just outside Rogersville, Tennessee, lives Wendell Sturgill.

“You know, you reap what you sow. It always comes back to you,” Wendell Sturgill said. “Treat people the way you want to be treated, and try to help people. There will be a time in your life that you need help.”

The single father logs for a living. In his spare time, he builds structures for people who need assistance.

Wendell said his son is his motivation.

“You have a son now that really depends on you to be there for you and be a role model to him.”

Sturgill said, “Funeral homes charge $500-$700 to dig graves and I just feel like I have been really blessed with stuff and it don’t cost me much money at all just to throw a piece of equipment and go help a family in need. The money that I’ve spent that they can spend on their family that I’vesaved them is a real blessing. They could maybe get the outfit they wanted for that person or the casket they wanted. It really touches me to be able to save them money for their loved ones that they lost.”

He even built a bridge out of a fire escape ladder for a woman in need.

“He came by to ask about if I needed any lumber cut. He just kind of stopped by to introduce himself. I think, when he came by I was crossing the creek with my kids,” Rogerssville resident Catlyn Harris said.

This time last year, it was a cold day for Harris and the creek in front of her house had been rising.

Harris said, “I was having to pretty much get waste deep into the water to get my kids across and he was like, ‘I’m not having that’. I think his exact words were, ‘No single woman on my mountain is going to be doing this!'”

Sturgill is now wanting his random acts of kindness to go further, and took to Facebook, asking anyone who needed assistance to come forward.

“It got shared 3400 times. I never dreamed that something, just a country boy like me, logger, that builds houses that would be shared 3400 times. It was amazing,” Wendell said.

Now, his phone has been ringing nonstop!

“I really posted it just for my community, and the people around here that I can personally help. I’ve got calls from Atlanta, Georgia, Memphis, Virginia,” Wendell said. “As long as my son can get in school that day. You know, I work for myself. I would travel hours to be able to help someone that really need it and got blessings out of it.”

“I think anyone that does selfless acts for their community just to better their community is a community hero to me,” Harris said.

“The smile on that person’s face and the tears in their eyes is what gives me that motivation to do it. To really see people just hug your neck and say, ‘thank you’,” Sturgill said.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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