PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Filling up your car costs a lot more than it used to as prices continue to skyrocket during the conflict in Europe.
But Saturday morning in Portsmouth, folks at the Exxon off High Street were all smiles at the pump. There was contagious happiness in the air as community members waited for their chance to have their tank filled up for free — no strings attached.
And the line went on for miles as police guided traffic.
“We came from Suffolk and it was worth it,” said resident Katina Pierce.
It was all thanks to the members of Grove Church in Portsmouth. Last year, the church gave away $10,00 in gas. This year, they doubled that.
Grove Church’s Director of Marketing, Berlyn Best, says people have been waiting since 3:30 in the morning which shows the need.
“How do we meet the needs of the people in a real tangible way, we thought this is it. Portsmouth is known for so much, but some good can come out of Portsmouth, and here it is.”
Not only was the gas free, but it was also pumped by church members.
“A great blessing when I say it’s so good to be able to have gas without choosing bills over gas or food or anything so it’s a great blessing. I’m very very thankful,” said resident Patricia Pippen.
Best says they hope to come back to help even more people at the gas station next year. But in the meantime, she wants others to take note of not only the help the community needs but the good in it too.
“I hope that someone is listening. I hope that America is listening. I hope that city hall and city council are listening and that someone is trying to figure out what do we need to do to meet the needs of the people.”