To help ease the burden motorists are facing in the wake of skyrocketing fuel prices, prominent Chicago businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson announced he’s giving away $1 million worth of free gas on Thursday.
Wilson’s gesture of goodwill comes after he similarly gave away $200,000 in free gas to motorists last Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported. The motorists who benefited from Wilson’s giveaway received $50 worth of free gas. A number of churches in Chicago have also similarly handed out free fuel in recent times.
“About a week and a half ago, we decided to give gas not knowing that other people were deciding the same thing,” Smith told the news outlet on Monday.
The skyrocketing prices of gas are attributed to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions that have been leveled against Moscow as a result. “The need among the community is so great. Soaring gas prices have caused a hardship for too many of our citizens,” Wilson said, adding that the 49 gas stations that will be giving out the free gas he has paid for have agreed to reduce their prices so the beneficiaries can get extra fuel.
Wilson’s giveaway last week reportedly caused traffic jams and uncontrollable crowds as hundreds of motorists lined up at a gas station on the West Side for the $50 worth of free gas.
So to prevent a similar incident from occurring, the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications and Chicago police announced they are “coordinating with Dr. Wilson and his staff to provide city and department resources to alleviate traffic congestion and ensure public safety during his gas giveaway at participating stations located in the city of Chicago.”
Wilson has made a name for himself for his philanthropic endeavors. The self-made, wealthy businessman has covered bail costs for criminal defendants and also footed other people’s property tax bills, the Chicago Tribune reported. At the start of the pandemic, he also donated thousands of face masks.
He has also unsuccessfully contested political seats in the past.
We've had to update the list. The current list is BROWN any other Color may not have the correct listings. Thank you for your patience. #drwilliewilson#gasgiveaway #driveupandgo #amazinggrace pic.twitter.com/eI9F0nrv4h
— Dr. Willie Wilson (@DrWillieWilson) March 23, 2022