CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. — As gas prices continue to take their toll on locals’ wallets, some welcome help at the pump any way they can get it.

In south suburban Bloom Township Tuesday morning, the line was long for free gas cards for qualifying senior citizens.

“It’s been a long wait but it’s worth it,” Dorothy Harris said. “I’m grateful. I’m thankful.”  

Trustees announced $50,000 in free gas cards for Bloom Township residents 65 and older. 

“The governing body voted unanimously,” Cheryl Franklin said. “We want to make sure during these times we want to make sure we are going back to those who’ve already given to us.”

Organizer Leticia Johnson foresaw the giveaway drawing a heavy turnout.

“I knew we were going to have quite a crowd. I knew we’d be about 300 to 400 but we are coming up on 500, so it’s definitely more than I originally anticipated,” Johnson said.

The current average in the Chicago metro is around 4.48 per gallon for regular gas. A year ago, gas was about 3.16 per gallon. 

The suburban gas giveaway came on the same day Chicago mayoral candidate and businessman Willie Wilson announced that he would once again give away $1 million in free gas.

The giveaway is Saturday.