A Detroit man has made an incredibly generous gesture to frontline medical workers in the city, offering up his $900 savings to provide nurses with free gas to travel to and from work. On April 1 and 2, Allen Marshall stood outside the Exxon station near the Detroit Medical Center holding up a sign that read “FREE GAS FOR NURSES,” ultimately filling up the tanks of between 50 to 80 people, CNN reports.
- Allen had intended to use the money for a knife sharpener. However, he had a change of heart when he saw the hard work of the nurses in his area in the midst of the global health pandemic. In fact, Allen’s own wife is a nurse, so he knows first-hand just how difficult their jobs are and how much they’re putting themselves at risk. “With all that is going on with the coronavirus, I wanted to thank the essential workers the best way that I can,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “I really don’t need that tool and thought this was a better way to spend the money.”
- His gesture made a major difference. While it might seem like a small thing to provide some nurses with free gas, many of them appreciated the gesture as a token of Allen’s appreciation, especially since the medical field is often a thankless (and not very well-paid) job. “I just paid for gas for a nurse who works at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor. He was on his way home from work and said he was happy to get off the exit ramp and receive free gas. Emotionally, there is no one there to thank them at work and this gesture helped him,” Allen said. “[…] It takes a small gesture to show people that we care about them. The nurses and first responders need help as well during this time, and I’m doing my part in making sure they are taken care of.”
- Allen’s kindness is even inspiring others. Talking to WDIV, a woman named Alana, whose nephew is a nurse, said she was inspired by Allen to help out, adding another $200 to the pot to give nurses free gas. “It just kills me every day to know that he’s going to work. I don’t know if he could get sick or what’s going to happen. They’re heroes and we need to do what we can to support them,” she said.
- If all of us came together, we could make a difference. Obviously not all of us can afford to give up $900 (many of us don’t even have $900) but that’s besides the point. If we have extra of anything that others have too little of or if we can donate our time, energy, or even vocalize our appreciation for those putting themselves at risk for us every day, it would make the world a much better place to be.