SULLIVAN, Ill. (WCIA) — It can be difficult to be on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. That is why New Life Church decided to show its appreciation by filling up their tanks.
Lines were out of the parking lot at the Fast Stop in Sullivan. Most of the drivers were first responders and healthcare workers taking New Life up on their offer. The church runs a project they call ‘Pay It Forward.’ They wanted a unique way to use the fund to thank those front line workers.
“We use it to help people pay their bills, get food and all kinds of stuff like that,” says Executive Pastor Elizabeth Dolan. “We were trying to think of other projects and other ways to help people in the community, we felt healthcare workers were having a difficult time right now and also first responders as well.”
One of those first responders was Sullican Volunteer Firefighter Rob Young. They have been adjusting to life using masks and other protective equipment on calls. He says all first responders are humbled the church would do something like this for them.
“I appreciate our local New Life Church for doing this,” says Young. “It’s fantastic. They don’t have to be here today to do this but they’re willing to say thank you, and I appreciate it.”
The drive went on from six a.m. to two p.m. The church says they had $2,500 set aside for the gas. When it was all said and done, they say they gave away more than 1,400 gallons of fuel. It was all made possible by the generosity of church members.
“Our church collected it during this time frame,” says Dolan. “We kind of shifted and said, ‘Let’s make sure we give towards this fund during this difficult time for everybody.’ And they’ve been so generous to give.”
New Life Church is continuing their Pay It Forward fund to help people impacted by the pandemic.