DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- An encounter with a woman who was nearly stranded by an empty gas tank inspired Akil Dickens, senior pastor at Durham's Emmanuel A.M.E. Church, to make a real difference in dozens of lives.
"Ran into a sister who was out of gas, right here on 55, crying. Stopped and asked if everything was good, she just needed gas. It was a Thursday night, she 'didn't get paid until tomorrow,' she just needed gas," Dickens said. "It convinced me, how many people in the Durham community are just like that, just need a little bit of hope."
The pastor set the bar high for assisting people in need in 2020 when he shared free gas cards to those who, like Brittany Dorsey, definitely appreciate the help.
"A family member told me about it," Dorsey said. "It feels great. I appreciate it."
Dickens' church is handing out gas gift cards.
"This year, we're giving 141 $25 gas cards," Dickens said, "to anyone in the community who needs a little bit of gas to make it through."
At a time when a gallon of gas costs more than three dollars a gallon, some people have trouble making ends meet.
"Yeah, and so we just know God has been blessing us, and we're just grateful to be a blessing to the community," Dickens said. "We want the community to know we're here to help, we're here to serve in any way, shape or form."