Elderly cancer-stricken man who called 911 because he was starving finds out what America is made of

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There is no generosity like American generosity.

In a desperate plea for help, a starving North Carolina man found out just how generous Americans can be when he had to rely upon the kindness of strangers.

Clarence Blackmon, 81, spent several months in the hospital recovering from a stroke and battling cancer, returning home to an empty refrigerator and bare cabinets.

WTVD ABC News discovered that the rehab center which discharged Blackmon failed to notify anyone that he was returning home.

With no way to get to the store and no one to turn to, Blackmon picked up the phone and dialed 911.

“What I need is someone to get to the grocery store and bring me some food because I need to eat,” Blackmon desperately said on the emergency call.

“I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t get out of my damn chair,” he pleaded.

Marilyn Hinson was the 911 operator who answered Blackmon’s call – in more ways than he could have imagined.


With the permission of her supervisor, Hinson showed up at Blackmon’s door an hour and a half later, with several Fayetteville police officers, and bags of groceries.

“It was like a miracle ringing in my ear,” Blackmon said.

“I thought, ‘Jesus, you answered those prayers!’”


But that was just the beginning.

As news of Blackmon’s plight began to spread, he was inundated by phone calls from strangers offering to help with drop-offs of food and water.

“They keep bringing it in by the armloads. My cupboards are full. I’ve never had such prosperity.”

“Simply, these are wonderful gifts,” Blackmon told WTVD.

“If I tried to consume all that’s in my kitchen right now, what’s in my cupboards, it would take me a year!”

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Blackmon, with a full fridge, cabinets, and belly, has asked that future donations be made to the Salvation Army to help others.

The kind-hearted 911 operator who helped spread the word about Blackmon’s plight told reporters she will keep in touch with Blackmon.


“He was hungry,” Hinson said.

“I’ve been hungry. A lot of people can’t say that, but I can, and I can’t stand for anyone to be hungry.”

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