Gas giveaway benefits single mothers and seniors on Detroit’s east side

There were also $5,000 in Walmart gift cards given out, along with free food

Plenty of people took part in a gas giveaway Tuesday on Detroit's east side. Over $25,000 is being poured into gas tanks for customers at a maximum of $40 at a time. The event was for the benefit of single mothers and seniors, but there's more to the story.

DETROIT – Plenty of people participated in a gas giveaway Tuesday on Detroit’s east side, where over $25,000 was being poured into gas tanks for customers at a maximum of $40 at a time.

The event was for the benefit of single mothers and seniors by a man who was once wrongfully convicted.

“It does (help) a lot,” said Danielle Gordon. “I’m a single mother, so it’s just me and my daughter, so this helps tremendously.”

It might not be much, but it’s just enough for single mothers and senior citizens, and it’s happening right in the nick of time.

“That’s going to put me back on a full tank,” said another driver.

Drivers were blessed with $40 in the tank up to $25,000, courtesy of Davontae Sanford and his non-profit, Innocent Dreams.

“We in tough times right now, so I’m just trying to do everything that I can to try to give back and relieve some stress,” Sanford said. “You have to think about it. The elderly people have to pick between gas, rent, or medicine.”

If Sanford’s name sounds familiar to you, you may recall him recently being awarded a $7.5 million settlement for spending nearly 10 years in prison in the murder of four men back in 2007.

Read: Detroit reaches $7.5M deal in Davontae Sanford wrongful conviction lawsuit

He was only 14 at the time, but now he’s a grown man, and he says he ultimately wants to give back to his community.

“The city had my back when I went through everything that I had been through, so why not have the city’s back when the city is going through different things,” Sanford said.

And it’s easy to say the community is being receptive to his help as people like Norma McMorris and Gordon waited in line for hours just to get the little bit of help they could.

“We all live in this area, and it’s just nice to see something like this happen over here because we don’t see this over here on the east side that often,” Gordon said.

“This man just don’t know what he did for the community and for this event here,” said McMorris. “For the city and the citizens and Detroit; He just made us feel like we’re the most important people right about now.”

Despite what the sign said in the video player above, gas at the event was sold Tuesday (Aug. 9) at $4.69 per gallon.

Either way, a hundred drivers were able to get some gas in the tank.

There were also $5,000 in Walmart gift cards given out, along with free food.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.