For the people who take care of our needs, he wanted to do something that would meet their needs.
Even the little acts of kindness you can do make a huge difference when people across the world are struggling to get a grip over the ongoing pandemic.
While most people can stay at home and limit their risk of getting affected by the virus, doctors and nurses have to go out there and put themselves in the frontline, trying to protect their patients and their own families. To show how much they mean to our communities, a good Samaritan decided to use up his savings and offer a helping hand to the nurses in Detroit for all the hard work they have been doing and continue to do so.
Allen Marshall spent the whole of Wednesday and Thursday, April 1 and 2, standing at an Exxon station near the Detroit Medical Center, and he held up a sign that read, "FREE GAS FOR NURSES."
The retired automotive designer deeply appreciates the work our nurses have been doing for us and he wanted to do something that would not only show them his gratitude but would also lighten the weight that they are carrying.
Using the $900 that he had been saving up, paid off the fuel money for the nurses who stopped by the station.
Married to an essential worker at Blue Cross Blue Shield, Allen would start his day off by dropping his wife before spending the rest of his time at the gas station and holding up his sign. His plan was to use the $900 for a knife sharpening tool, but in the midst of a crisis, that could wait. "I really don't need that tool and thought this was a better way to spend the money," Allen said.
His plan was to stay at the station and pay for the nurses' gas until his money ran out. And for so many people, it made their day. "With all that is going on with the coronavirus, I wanted to thank the essential workers the best way that I can," Allen told Detroit Free Press.
As he paid for gas worth anywhere between $7 to $35, he was also able to spend a moment with the healthcare workers, most of whom are tirelessly working during these tough times. "I just paid for gas for a nurse who works at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor," Allen revealed. "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 told WDIV, "I just love them and I want them to know that."
Certainly, he conveyed his message loud and clear through the heartwarming gesture. One nurse said, "Oh my goodness, that is so nice of him. That's so good. God bless him."
The staff who works at the station were also witnesses to about 50 to 80 people experiencing Allen's thoughtfulness over the course of two days. "There's a lot coming through," said Imran Al Samet who works at the station, according to CNN. Although Imran couldn't see all of their reactions as he worked inside the station's store, he could see that many were excited. "They're happy with it," he added.
Through his kind act, Allen was also able to inspire others to join in and support healthcare workers. When a woman named Alana saw what he was doing, she knew she had to help, too, in whatever way she could. And she contributed $200 of her own money to pay for the nurses' fuel.
It was the thought of her nephew, who works as a nurse, that prompted Alana to do so. "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 told WDIV.
With Allen and Alana's help, about $1100 worth of gas was paid off. Once Allen ran out of money, he flipped his sign to reveal another message to first responders and essential workers: "THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!!!"
One of the times he was able to experience first-hand what a tremendous job our nurses and first responders do was when his mother turned 97 on March 31, 2020, but sadly, he couldn't be there at the nursing home. However, the nurses and first responders took great care of her and gave his mother all the service she needed. And thus, he wanted to show them how grateful he is to these workers.
"It takes a small gesture to show people that we care about them," Allen told Detroit Free Press. "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."