MOOREVILLE – Virginia Phillips spent $400 on gasoline Saturday and none of it went into her own car.
For the second year in a row, the 82-year-old Eggville resident – known by many as Cricket – bought gas for people in her community who just happened to stop at Hardin’s Country Store in Eggville at noon Saturday.
It was a gesture of goodwill by a woman who, by no stretch of the imagination, is wealthy.
“I just love this community and I love the people in it, so I wanted to do something nice for everyone,” said Phillips. “When I did it last year gas was almost $4 a gallon and people were really having a hard time. That $20 really helped some of them, so I wanted to do it again this year.”
Phillips, who has lived in Eggville since 1962, said she saved all year to finance the gas giveaway. Her passion for giving also rubbed off on others.
Her daughter Tina Wilburn, along with friends Lacee Hall and Jane McMurray, each added $100 to help Phillips. Each person getting gas received $20 toward the purchase until the money was gone.
As each vehicle pulled up to the pump, the vibrant 82-year-old, with the help of 6-year-old Madison Hall, raced to the pump to deliver the good news to unsuspecting drivers.
Many people were surprised by Phillips’ generosity – and thankful.
“I didn’t know what to think at first,” said Michael Coleman, who pulled in to fill up his truck. “You just don’t see people being that nice to strangers this day and age. But this lady is truly a blessing for many people stopping here to gas up today. She definitely was a blessing to me.”
Phillips said that while the hugs and thank-yous are nice, that’s not why she did it.
“I thought this would provide a little relief to people, that’s all,” said Phillips, cheeks blush red from the excitement. “Young people are really hurting these days, so helping with their gas even for a day helps them out. It doesn’t put any extra money in my pockets, but it puts joy in me to be able to help out a little.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal