Church Provides Free Gasoline to the Grand Crossing Community as Prices Rise

CHICAGO (CBS) — Gasoline prices continue to rise, but Saturday brought temporary relief to some Chicago drivers as a local church provided free gas to 200 cars in the Grand Crossing community. And there will be more freebies to come.

After a successful giveaway on Thursday, multimillionaire businessman Willie Wilson plans to donate $1 million in free gas throughout the subway next week. But on Saturday, New Life Covenant Church wanted to help the Grand Crossing neighborhood.

“I didn’t think I could do it and I needed it,” said one rider.

“Gas prices are skyrocketing and we need this, especially in our community,” said another.

Everyone CBS 2’s Shardaa Gray spoke to said their pockets hurt.

“This is where it really, really hurts, and that’s gas,” Anthony Miles said of getting free gas. “That you get up and go to work so that you can earn some money. And the prize was so enormous.”

From Uber drivers to mobile blood drive drivers, New Life’s outreach and community development team gave away $6,000 in gas to 200 drivers.

“I wouldn’t have been able to ride today without that blessing today, but now I have enough gas to get out and make some extra money. Just finding a way out of nowhere,” said Uber driver Glenn Johnson.

Lura Irvine is a mobile phlebotomist.

“I drive for work, so I go to people’s homes every day,” she said. “With gas the way it is, it’s hard for me to try to make sure I have gas.”

Donations came from church members.

“They could give us the money in one day. I told them, ‘This is the need. We need that much.’ And they made it possible. So we’re grateful for the members who make things like this possible.”

Hannah said they planned this November 2021 well before prices skyrocketed.

“We didn’t know the economy would be where it is, but we are so grateful we came at the right time. It’s perfect timing,” he said.

“I’m so excited, it’s a blessing. Gas is so high and I’m so grateful,” said another rider.

For next Thursday’s giveaway, drivers who queue at 7 a.m. at 50 participating locations will receive $50 in gas until $1 million is used.

The giveaway won’t be the first for Wilson, who has run for multiple political offices, including Chicago mayor. He caused some controversy during his 2018 campaign when he handed out money.

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