Free Gas Promotion Draws Hundreds To Northeast Philly

by Alex Lloyd Gross

April 13, 2022



When you advertise free gas, you can expect a line. That is exactly what happened when the  Dare To Imagine Church, which is located on Upsal Street, decided to have a promotion.  Since Easter and Passover, and Ramadan are coming up, some people might need some extra help. That is why this church decided to give strangers $30.00 in free gas today. They have a budget of up to $2000.00 to spend.


The gas station was the Sunoco located on Oxford & Roosevelt Boulevard.  The church, located on Upsal Street  tried to get gas stations closer but those stations turned them down.  The church was paying for it,which is more money than any station would make in a day. Why turn down guaranteed cash? One possible reason was the traffic problems in the neighborhood that would follow. The church asked ten filling  stations before this one agreed, officials said. The other turned them down.




Folks started to line up for their gas at about 6:00 AM. by 11:00 AM, the line snaked through the neighborhood. It caused traffic gridlock a some intersections.  There was no traffic control, so drivers that tried to just drive through were delayed. Many tried to cut in line.  Then, on Cheltenham Avenue, there was another line that was fed into the first one. Each was several blocks long.


The wait would be hours. Some people needed the gas and stuck it out. Others did the math and while free gas sounds good, they could not justify waiting several hours for the possibility of getting free gas.  Many drivers turned off their cars , starting them when enough space to creep forward several car lengths opened up.

Church officials said the program was open to anyone regardless of where they lived.  Many church volunteers at the site were glad to help and see the thankful expressions on the faces of those that were able to get free gas.



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