(Miami-Dade County, FL) --
Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz (right) helps a resident fill up his tank at Finish Line gas station in Sweetwater.(Photo by Armando Rodriguez/Miami-Dade County)
Drivers passing by Sweetwater’s Finish Line gas station experienced a little sticker shock when they passed by on Monday morning, but for all the right reasons. In a world where gas is reaching $4 a gallon, Finish Line slashed its price for regular gas to $2.27 per gallon for an hour and a half. The price cut was all part of Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz’s initiative “14 Days of Neighborly Love – Inspiring Random Acts of Kindness.” For 14 days, starting on Valentine’s Day, businesses and volunteers joined Commissioner Diaz to offer Miami-Dade residents goods and services at discounted rates or for free. The initiative, which ended today at Finish Line, aimed to bring camaraderie and kindness to residents so they could pass it on to others.
From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Finish Line offered the reduced price at a $20 cap. Motorists lined up at the pump and found another surprise – Commissioner Diaz, Sweetwater Mayor Manny Maroño, and city council members pumping gas into residents’ cars. Finish Line’s station manager also dropped the price of regular gas to $2.14 a gallon for the kick-off of the initiative, to signify the starting date of February 14. This second price drop on February 27 was made possible by sponsorships from Anthony Cuevas, Finish Line station owner, Roly Ramirez, owner of Doral Collision Center, and Exclusive Motoring.
From February 14 to February 27, residents were able to take advantage of advantage of several services and goods offered at a discount or for free, such as tax preparation, marriage counseling, and more. Commissioner Diaz himself assisted with many of these initiatives, like serving pizza to honors students in his district, or handing out free SunPass Mini stickers at a Dolphin Expressway toll booth. A total of 18 businesses and groups participated.
“I had hoped that this initiative would be a success, but I never imagined so many people would want to take part and offer gestures of kindness to countless residents,” said Commissioner Diaz. “Throughout these 14 days, I could see residents’ days become better just by the smiles on their faces, and many said they would take the time to offer the same kindness to someone else. That’s what this was all about. We need to come together as a community and look out for one another, not just during a crisis, but every day.”
For more information on the businesses and volunteers who took part in this initiative, please visit www.14daysoflovemiami.com.