Seguin-area residents feel relief with FuelUp campaign
19 Jul 2023
City of Seguin, News
Dalondo Moultrie The Seguin Gazette
Hoping to help her dollars stretch a little further, a Seguin woman and her daughter got out early Saturday to ensure they got in line for the help a group offered the community.
Silia Togle was first in line Saturday morning to receive free gas in a giveaway a San Antonio ministry and Seguin-area churches coordinated. The gas giveaway was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. but she and her daughter were ready for free fuel by about 11:45 a.m., Togle said.
“It helps, especially when you’re living on a fixed income,” she said.
Togle said she burns lots of gas ferrying around her grandchildren, making sure they get to work and school. She visits her older brother occasionally and takes trips to the grocery store, all of which call for increasing amounts of fuel for her vehicle.
On top of the cost of fuel, there is also the ever-increasing grocery bill, she said.
The free gas will help with it all, Togle said.
These grocery prices are getting bad,” she said.
Togle wasn’t alone in her thinking Saturday, as a line of vehicles snaked around at least four city blocks for the gas giveaway at VP Racing Fuel Pic N Pac on Court Street in Seguin.
ReachUp Ministries of San Antonio, Sweet Home Baptist Church of Guadalupe County and the city of Seguin partnered with the gas station to put on the event. The fuel-up touted volunteers from city government in hopes of providing city residents gas but also a chance to meet city leaders.
It was all set up for very admirable reasons, said Jason Biesenbach, Seguin District No. 7 councilman.
“I think the fact that this organization and this church wanted to come out here and bless our community says a lot about the organization,” he said. “They want everybody here to get to know city officials because it is important people know who we are and that we serve our community. That’s why we’re out here. We’re out here to serve our community and make a difference.”
Juan Luna of Seguin said the gas would make a difference for him. He uses his sport utility vehicle for frequent doctors’ visits and every little bit helps, Luna said.
Also on a fixed income, receiving a donation of gasoline was a welcome gesture, he said.
“It’s pretty tight; times are pretty hard,” Luna said. “Any help would be nice.”
As volunteers pumped $20 worth of gas into each vehicle, other volunteers prayed with drivers to ensure safe travels and salvation.
Bringing the word of God and his teachings was also important for Sharell Kemp, ReachUp Ministries minister.
She enlisted the help of her evangelism teacher Pastor Vincent Jennings, pastor at Sweet Home Baptist Church. Kemp’s plea to help the community moved him and his church was delighted to get involved, Jennings said.
“She was just so inspired,” Jennings said. “She took so many things I taught her in class and put them in motion.”
He and his church members were excited to partake in the giveaway, Jennings said. Helping the community in that way filled their hearts, he said.
“It’s just what this community’s about,” Seguin City Manager Steve Parker said. “You go to other communities, you’re not going to see your council members out. To me, it’s about everybody succeeding, getting a little help and helping but not demanding help.”