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St. Clair Shores — She couldn't fill up her gas tank. Now strangers are rallying to a senior citizen, fueling a fundraising account to help her out.

The effort started with a gas station attendant and a St. Clair Shores police officer, who learned that a woman who is known only as Delores couldn't afford gasoline on Labor Day. 

The woman drove up to a gas station on Martin Road and Little Mack Avenue in a borrowed 2005 Cadillac DeVille and gave the attendant, Seth Kazz, $3 for the gas. 

The St. Clair Shores officer was standing behind her, heard the amount of gas she was paying for. He saw that she was using a cane and struggling to get back to her car. 

"He went outside and told her to sit in the car as he would pump the gas for her," Kazz said. "After a few minutes of getting to know one another, he realized she was really struggling and didn’t have any gas or money left."

The officer returned to Kazz with $20 from his own pocket and filled up her tank. The woman told the officer she was struggling to pay her bills after her husband died. 

"It really helped her. She would of most likely ended up running out of gas," Kazz said. "Then we thought: What can we do to help this lady? I was going to put a jar on the counter with her story, but I thought it wouldn't be enough."

Instead, Kazz said, he set up a GoFundMe account

More than $3,500 was raised of the $5,000 goal within a day of publishingthe fundraiser. By Thursday, the fundraiser reached $9,000. 

Kazz said he told Delores that he was raising the money for her. He said he didn't know the woman, and could not provide a last name or her age. 

Detroit News attempts to reach the police officer continue.

"She's only been in a few times, so I don't know her well, but when I told her we'd raise money, she was very happy," Kazz said. "She told me about house issues she wants to fix, like her foundation and fixing air conditioning, paying for her medical issues, gas and groceries.

"She's a wonderful lady. She comes in sometimes and can only afford to give me a few dollars ... it's amazing to see how people responded."

People quickly spread the GoFundMe page, commenting: "I'm sorry for your loss," "Pay it forward" and "There are still good people out there."

"Sometimes it takes a simple act of kindness to create a ripple effect," posted Lee Womer. "This story touched me deeply."

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_

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