LeStan Hoskins

The Rev. LeStan Hoskins and other members of his church will be handing out free gas cards next month in Danville’s Garfield Park.

DANVILLE — Nothing sparks a good turnout like free food. Unless maybe it’s free gasoline.

The Rev. LeStan Hoskins of Mosaic City Church, Danville, said he and others from the church will soon be handing out $25 gas cards to residents of Vermilion County.

“It was God’s idea, but He gave it to me,” Hoskins said. “Due to the exponential rise in gas prices, our church wants to help meet the needs of the community in a very practical way.”

Hoskins said church members know it is difficult for people to travel as much as they need to due to the soaring price of fuel.

So they decided, “Why don’t we just buy gift cards just to help people out?”

The giveaway, which will be on a first-come, first-served basis, will begin at 1 p.m. April 9 at Danville’s Garfield Park. The only requirement is for recipients to provide a form of identification that shows they are residents of Vermilion County.

One hundred cards will be handed out.

Hoskins said police officers will be present to direct traffic, “making sure that everything flows smoothly. We’ll also have some volunteers there as well to direct the traffic.”

It could be a scene reminiscent of the ’70s, when motorists lined up for fuel due to gas shortages. But this time, there is no shortage, just high fuel prices.

(Monday’s countywide average for a gallon of unleaded was $4.32 — less than Champaign’s $4.41 but higher than the national average of $4.25, according to AAA.)

Mosaic City Church is a new church that will launch this fall. An interest-gathering event to learn more about the church will be held at 6 p.m. April 14 at Danville Public Library, providing an opportunity “for people in our community to hear our mission, our vision, our values, the heart for our city” and to get to know Hoskins and wife Jennifer.

“Our church ... basically wants to help the community and be a source of support any way we can,” Hoskins said.

The funds to buy the gas cards come from the church.

Said Hoskins: “We’ve been blessed to receive finances in order to do some of these things.”

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at dhinton@news-gazette.com.

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