A local organization organizes a free gasoline distribution

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) — If you happened to drive anywhere near Sam’s Club early Saturday morning, you likely encountered very heavy traffic.

The reason for this is that people came from everywhere hoping to get free gas.

“For the church to do this, it was worth going out at 4:30 a.m.,” said John Jartner, a resident who stood in line for gasoline.

Jartner was among a crowd of more than a hundred people who came to refuel their cars at no cost.

The free gasoline giveaway was organized by a non-profit faith-based ministry, A Hand Up International.

Ten thousand dollars was the threshold at the pumps, but that didn’t stop people from waiting to be among the first in line.

“We got here at around 4 a.m.,” said Taniyah Johnson, another local who was waiting for gas. “Yeah, that was free gas, free water, you can’t beat that.”

Besides free gasoline, other Easter gifts were distributed.

“Gas and Easter baskets for my children and water,” said Lorenzo Hunt, another resident waiting for the gas.

People lined up as early as 2:30 a.m. to receive this free gift of gasoline.

The CEO and Founder said it was something she felt very passionate about doing and passing it on to her community.

“We are so excited to be here. I’m so happy to be able to pay it forward because I was on the other end a few years ago in my life. To be able to turn and bless others now is an incredible thing. I am so humbled to be able to serve people,” said Jeanette Best, CEO/Founder of A Hand Up, International, Inc.

“Listen to the news, talk to the people who come to the food bank and to so many other people we help. That it’s just a burden, just gas and just everything with inflation and the economy. So we wanted to make sure we could do a little something to ease the load a bit,” Best said.

She says this gift wouldn’t be possible without the man from above.

“Love God, love people. If you love God, you have the ability to love people. And that’s all we do is show love to people in our community. And let them know we’re all in this together, Best said.

Several organizations contributed to the giveaway, including B-Yond The Walls Young Adult Outreach Ministries of A Hand Up and members of Oasis of Love Tabernacle, a church located in Bayou George.

“I believe people are just looking for someone to love and help, so we are here to do that and do what we can. To help the community and make sure they have enough during this time,” said Abram Curls, pastor of the Oasis of Love Tabernacle.

Best says this is just one of many events they plan to hold. so stay tuned.

The ministry also helps the entire community by feeding more than a thousand people from their pantries each month and providing toys at Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets during the holidays.

For more information about the ministry, visit their website or Facebook page.

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