In today’s economy, it can be tough to make ends meet— but seniors face particular financial challenges.
According to the National Council of Aging, nearly 1 in 4 seniors say they’re not certain they’ll be able to meet their monthly expenses over the next coming years— and for those living on a fixed income or forced to pay for medication, the problem is that much worse.
Delores Marotta, a 75-year-old from Detroit, Michigan, is no stranger to financial struggles.
Her husband died four years ago, and ever since then, she’s had trouble paying for the necessities of life.
Between property taxes, groceries, and utilities, she usually finds herself short on cash. Often, she isn’t even able to buy gas for the car she was lent to get to her appointments.
On August 31, in particular, the senior was worried about making it to her next doctor’s appointment. She only had $3 to her name until the next Social Security check— which didn’t leave her very many options.
That day, when Delores hobbled into the local station, a St. Clair Shores Police Officer overheard her asking the attendant for 3 dollars’ worth of gas.
In an interview, the officer, Todd Bing, told CNN affiliate WXYZ-TV: “She was so slow-moving that I was like, ‘I’m going to go pump this gas for her.”
Hoping to do a good deed, the officer followed the senior back to her car and offered to pump her gas. While there, the two chatted, and Delores told him about her life.
When Bing learned the extent of Delores’ financial struggles, he immediately went back into the gas station and bought her an additional 20 dollars’ worth of gas.
“It was just the right thing to do,” the 17-year veteran said.
“Officers do this kind of thing all the time.”
When Bing went inside to pay for the gas, he was surprised to hear the gas station owner had captured he and Delores’ interaction on film.
“He’s like, ‘Dude I took a picture of you. I’m putting this on Facebook,” Bing recalled.
The owner, Seth Kasyouhanan, shared the image on Facebook where it has garnered over 23,000 shares.
In the post, Kasyouhanan wrote, in part: “Nowadays there’s so much negativity towards police officers. No one respects them. We hear all the complaints and ‘bad’ stories. I’m not saying every officer is perfect, I’m sure some are at fault at times. We all make mistakes- but we should all respect, appreciate, and thank them for what they do.”
After sharing the photo, Kasyouhanan received thousands of messages from people offering to donate money to Delores.
“I didn’t think that everyone ought to come in and give me cash, so I thought the only way this would work would be to make a GoFundMe account,” he explained.
Kasyouhanan created a GoFundMe account for Delores with a goal of $5,000 to help pay for her expenses. At the time of this writing (September 12), they’ve raised over $22,000.
In an interview, Delores said:
“I appreciate everything, and I want people to know how grateful I am for the help.”
Since being shared on Facebook, people are enamored by the officer’s kind-hearted gesture. Comments on Kasyouhanan’s post read:
“Praying for all the policemen! God please keep them safe! So nice of him to help the lady!”
“What a wonderful man. Police officers do care about people.”
“God bless you for helping her… eased her mind of one thing she worries about. Wonderful officer!! Thank you.”
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