Free gas

A group of people stood outside the BP on Broadway on Saturday and pumped free gas for health care workers helping in the coronavirus pandemic.

Those on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight are getting a nice perk and thank you, courtesy of a few Portland residents and a local gas station.

Led by Kenny Greer, these citizens teamed up with the BP at the corner of Broadway and Jackson Road to offer free gas to nurses and those on the frontlines of the Covid-19 fight.

Greer said he got the idea from another person in the northern part of the United States, who was doing the same thing and decided that it would be a good thing to try in Portland.

Greer first did the free gas on April 23 and then did it again this past Saturday, filling up the gas tanks of nurses and other health care workers as a thank you for their service in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“There was a fellow way up north, and he went to a gas station up there and any nurses that came through, he started paying for their gas. I know he spent like $900-something and another lady came by and gave him a couple hundred more to do the same thing with,” Greer said. “I wanted to do the same thing. Let’s bless some hearts. Why not try to do a little something like that for our neck of the woods? It sort of put spark in me. It’s just a little something to say thank you to them. That’s all it’s about is to just say thank you to them.”

Greer was a bit reluctant to take any credit for the measure, saying he just wanted to help and didn’t want any recognition for what he and his friends did.

“I’d just as soon no names be mentioned, because we’re not doing it for recognition. We’re doing this just to say thank you to the people who are the first ones putting their lives on the line,” he said.

The first outing was such a success that Greer and several friends and coworkers decided to do so once again, especially after finding out from his niece, who is a nurse, that many nurses have to work through the week and might be better able to take advantage of his generosity on the weekends.

“We did it last Thursday (April 23). I found out through my niece in Gallatin — she’s a nurse down there — she said, that a lot of them work through the week, and it’s hard for them to come through. She asked if you could do it on the weekend, on a Saturday. That first Thursday, we got to say 69 thank yous. We put gas in 69 vehicles,” Greer said. “Whenever I first got to doing it, I could have done it for maybe for about 15 or 20 people. So I contacted some of my friends. A couple of them happen to be business owners, and I asked them if they’d like to donate a little to it. Next thing I know, it was awesome. We wound up doing 69 cars that day and I’ve got enough money to possibly do 100 more.

“I did have it on there the first time that if anybody wanted to donate, they could call that number. Or they could just drop by the BP. I didn’t put it out there this time, because I’ve got about $2,000 for it. I figure I can hopefully do about 100 more.”

On Saturday morning, the gas donors had already filled up more than 20 cars with a goal of filling up many more.

Greer pointed out too that the BP station right now is closed inside for remodeling, with only credit card payments at the gas pumps available, which made the process much easier and less intrusive in helping to supply the nurses with free gas.

“What worked out great is that BP station is closed down right now doing remodeling and the only gas you can get is if you pay for it with a credit card at the pumps. He closed down because the girls inside were a little upset about the possibility of the virus, so he decided to go ahead and do some remodeling. I got with him to see if there was something we could work out. I knew it would work perfect, if I could set something up, advertise it a little bit and let front line people know, and not be interfering with a store’s daily business,” Greer said.

Beside CEMC

We’re going to be out there from 9 in the morning till 3 in the evening or until the money runs out.

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