Detroit Man Put His $900 Savings Toward Gas for Nurses Driving to the Hospital

Allen Marshall stood outside the gas station near the Detroit Medical Center holding a sign that read, “Free Gas For Nurses.”

Exxon gas station
Photo: VIEW Press/Getty Images

A man in Detroit, who had saved up $900 for a knife-sharpening tool, decided to put his savings toward gas for nurses who are driving back and forth from a local hospital as Michigan grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

Allen Marshall stood outside an Exxon Express gas station near the Detroit Medical Center last week, holding a sign that read, “Free Gas For Nurses.” Nurses who drove past the gas station on their way to or from the hospital could stop by for a free fill-up.

"With all that is going on with the coronavirus, I wanted to thank the essential workers the best way that I can," said Marshall, told the Detroit Free Press. "I really don't need that tool and thought this was a better way to spend the money."

About 25 people stopped by in one day for the free fill-up.

Marshall is a retired automotive designer and his wife is an essential worker at a health insurance company near the hospital. After dropping her off at work, he set up at the gas station until she had finished. Once he reached the end of his savings, Marshall flipped his sign around to show “Thank You For All That You Do” to passing ambulances and emergency responders.

But then another good Samaritan was inspired by Marshall’s actions and donated $200 so he could continue to provide gas for free. “I was so inspired, I had to come down here and help,” she told local news site ClickonDetroit. “Whether it was money or pumping gas, I wanted to help. These nurses are putting their lives on the line for us every day.”

Michigan is one of the states most affected by the pandemic, with the majority of cases being in confirmed in Detroit. There are more than 15,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state of Michigan and at least 617 deaths, according to the state health department. There are at least 7,500 cases in Wayne County and 293 deaths.

On March 24, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order for a statewide lockdown. All those whose jobs are “not necessary to sustain or protect life…(or to) “conduct minimum basic operations” have been ordered to stay at home. They are only supposed to leave home to purchase necessary supplies or exercise while maintaining a six-foot distance from others.

The lockdown will continue through at least April 13.

Click here for the most recent updates on coronavirus from Travel + Leisure.

The information in this article reflects that of the publishing time above. However, as statistics and information regarding coronavirus rapidly change, some figures may be different from when this story was originally posted. While we strive to keep our content as up to date as possible, we also recommend visiting sites like the CDC or websites of local health departments.

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