PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive. Paying for gas is one of those necessary expenses that can really make a dent in the monthly budget. That’s why 3TV’s Gibby Parra and Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad wanted to help Valley commuters out by paying for their gas at a Fry’s Supermarket on Baseline Road in Phoenix.
“I love when we do this,” Parra said to a man named Chris standing next to one of the pumps. “You’re going through a bad time right now, right?” Chris was reluctant to open up, but you could see there was a pain in his eyes. He explained to Parra that he was grieving the loss of his son who died the previous week.
“I’m with Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad and the Valley Toyota Dealers. We’re going to pay for your gas. But that’s not it, Chris. Lots of times when people lose a family member, there’s a lot of things you have to do. You have funeral expenses. We’re going to give you $500 to help with funeral expenses or anything else you have to go through. This is all part of Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad. I know you have things to do, and I’m glad you stuck around. I am sorry for your loss, but gas is on us, and so is that $500.”
“Thank you,” Chris said. “I don’t know what to say. Last Friday, I lost my son. It’s going to help big time.” Chris later said the unexpected surprise made him feel like his son was looking down on him from heaven. Parra approached a woman who had pulled up to one of the pumps.
“Are you on empty?”
“Yeah, almost,” she answered.
“Well, guess what? We’re going to pay for your gas. I know what it’s like with gas prices nowadays. How is this going to help you out?”
“It’s going to be huge. I am a fill-in nurse doing a pediatric shift, and I live in Gilbert, so this is huge. This is amazing!”
Parra then flagged down a car driving past the gas station. A woman and her mother were in the front seats.
“Pull in here real quick. Do you guys need gas? My name is Gibby, I’m with Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad. We’re buying gas. I’m going to fill up your tank. You okay with that?” They both said they liked the idea of free gas, and the passenger explained that her daughter had just bought her groceries. Parra moved on to another woman who was about to fill up her tank.
“Excuse me, ma’am. Hold on a second. Have you paid for this? Hit cancel on that. My name’s Gibby with Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad. I’m going to pay for your gas.”
“Thank you,” she smiled and explained that she was filling up her tank to go visit her mother in Tucson.
“This is really what Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad is all about,” Gibby smiled. “That’s how it works. Love that.”