Free gas, groceries: Local church members give back to community during 'Love Week'

LOCKLAND - Joe Abrams wasn't sure how he would get to his job on Good Friday.

The Lockland resident works in West Chester, but when he saw a line snaking around a Marathon gas station at the corner of South Cooper Road and East Wyoming Avenue in Lockland, he got into it.

"I was actually trying to find my way to work in West Chester, and they were saying there was a guy giving away free gas here, so I got my car," he said.

But it wasn't just free gas, in the form of $10 gift cards, being pumped at the station, it was good will from Towne Worship Center in Bond Hill.

The church has been in Pastor Eric Petree's family for as long as he can remember, and each year around Easter he's joined by wife, Kim, and the congregation for Love Week.

"Love Week is: we think about we're a church, we think about the Easter season and John 3:16 comes to mind, 'God so loved the world and he gave,'" Petree explained.  "So Love Week best fulfills the mission, so we go out and give."

On Monday the church gave out $10 gift cards to Walgreens, Tuesday they paid Metro fares, Wednesday they went to a nursing home and Thursday the group handed out $25 gift cards to patrons at Aldi.

Friday came the free gas, and church members Steve and Christina Day, of Price Hill, were there to hand them out.

"We're here to show love and give to the community," Christina said.

Even the youngest of church members came to help, holding neon signs that told everyone who drove by about the free gas.

Love Week concludes March 30, with Eggstravaganza, an event giving away free Easter dinners and an Easter egg hunt from 1 p.m until 3:30 p.m. at Towne Worship Center.

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