SELF-MADE millionaire Willie Wilson donated $200k in gas to residents in Chicago, Illinois.
The donation resulted in hour-long traffic jams with cars lining up at 5am to benefit from the free gas as prices are on the rise.
Who is Willie Wilson?
Willie Wilson’s success is built on hard work, perseverance, and the desire to give back to those who are less fortunate.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 2015, Wilson discussed his childhood growing up in Gilbert, Louisiana in the 1950s.
He comes from a modest upbringing and worked hard alongside his parents who were sharecroppers.
Even as a young boy, Wilson plowed the fields with a mule. “The mule’s name was Charlie,” Wilson told the Chicago Tribue.
“He was a hard worker. He’d plow fields and he’d pull the cart. He’d pull water from the well.
“Everybody worked, all the family, working in the fields, working hard, getting up in the morning, working hard, day after day. There are hard-working people in Chicago who understand me.”
Wilson started working a custodial position at a local Mcdonald’s in 1970 for a mere $2 an hour but worked he was up to a supervisor position.
Five years after the custodian-turned-entrepreneur started working at McDonald’s he took a chance and asked the founder, Ray Kroc, about opening his own McDonald’s.
Kroc agreed and in 1979, Wilson was given a suffering McDonald’s and managed to turn it into a successful business within a year.
Wilson later founded Gemini Electronics and Omar Medical Supplies, one of the fastest-growing international medical supply companies in the US in 1997.
What donations has Willie Wilson made?
Wilson has used his fortune to donate thousands of dollars to the Chicago community over the years.
His donations have extended from giving $300k to a local church in 2018 to his donation of $200k for free gas to Chicago residents on March 17, 2022.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Wilson paid residents’ property taxes, gave out-of-pocket money to the homeless, and donated 10k medical masks and 1,000 N-95 masks to Chicago police and fire departments.
Wilson’s aspirations extended to running for government positions including mayor and president but he has been unsuccessful.
While running for mayor in 2015, Wilson said in an interview with Kass & Cohn on WLS-AM, “Somebody asked me the other day would I take a salary (if elected). Yeah, I’ll take it, but I’d give it away to the churches
“I just want to help the people because I came from a poor, poor family. Eleven sisters and brothers, been through life, up and down,” he told the Chicago Tribune.
“And I haven’t forgotten from (where) I came. I just feel like people need to be respected, all citizens.”
What is he doing about gas prices?
Philanthropist Willie Wilson donated $200k for free gas to ten gas stations in Chicago on March 17.
The free gas at the select stations was made available at 7am until the money runs out and has caused traffic jams with cars lining up at 5am.
Two gas station owners, Khalil Abdullah and Amin Ibrahim, told WGN9 News they had lowered their gas prices for the day so more people could benefit from Wilson’s charitable donation.
“The soaring price of gas has caused a hardship for too many of our citizens,” Wilson told the news station.
“The average price of regular gas has gone well over $4 a gallon for the first time in nearly 14 years and is now up nearly 50 percent from last year.”
He added, “The war in Ukraine, a ban on Russian oil, and high taxes are contributing to rising fuel prices.”
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