There’s no way around it; filling up your car’s gas tank really hurts these days!
With gas prices going for more than $4 a gallon nationwide, many people have a hard time affording their commutes to work and back. Thanks to a generous grant, the Oceanside Police Department in California has found a way to make a trip to the gas station just a little less painful for some lucky residents.
In a Facebook post, Oceanside Police Department announced its intention to distribute $1,500 to drivers who happen to fill up at one of the city’s gas stations. On-duty Officers are given $50 bills which they then hand out to anyone who happens to be getting gas at that time. For drivers like Dylan Garcia, getting a little help at the pump felt like pennies from heaven!
“I have to pay for this pump and this truck and I get like 8 miles a gallon so I’m paying like $300 a week,” Dylan said.
Steven Zufall was another lucky beneficiary of the police department’s “random acts of kindness.” Steven says he’s been having a had time making ends meet.
“It’s hurt a lot, you know,” said Steven. “It’s taking away from everything else. It’s hard to go to eat now. It’s hard to afford everything and just getting around.”
Oceanside Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Atenza says many people are confused when they’re approached by an officer, but that confusion quickly melts away when they see that cash in hand.
“Most of the time our officers don’t get the opportunity to interact with our residents on the best days, or under the best circumstances, it’s usually during crisis or in an emergency, it’s usually not good news that we have to deliver, so this has been a little confusing when we first approach people, but that melts away very quickly to gratitude and hugs, high fives, a little tears, tears of happiness,” Jennifer explained. “So it’s been really rewarding for us to be able to participate in this, to be able to bring some brightness into difficult times.”
This money is just a small portion of the $20,000 grant Oceanside Police Department received from Trauma Intervention Programs, Inc. The money was intended to help the community however the police saw fit, so Oceanside Police have come up with several ideas to hand out cash to people who need it most. Next month, they will start roaming grocery stores to hand out cash at the check out. After that, who knows where they will go to share the wealth!
For now, drivers like Esther Mendez couldn’t be more grateful for a little bit of help with her daily expenses.
“This is going to help in so many ways, I’m very thankful,” she said.
What a wonderful way to pay it forward! When people feel protected and supported, a community is sure to thrive.
Share this story to thank Oceanside Police for giving back to the people in their community.
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