Hometown Hero | Sam Jarwan
LuLu Mart in the west end of Huntington is known for its low gas prices.
Customers say they go out of their way to get fuel there because the prices are competitive and they really enjoy the compassionate spirit of the owner, Sam Jarwan.
"This is a small business owner and he’s here supporting his family and the people that work here are supporting their family," said Jennifer Baldridge.
The family run business has been open about a year and a half when many people in the community have suffered job loss or an interruption in income.
Jarwan says he wanted to keep things affordable and he only makes a few cents on each gallon of gas.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, toilet paper became almost impossible to find on store shelves. Each time he would get a shipment in, he would hold the goods and instead of selling it, he would give it away to those in need, or the at-risk population.
"We have felt that there are some people who need it more than what I need the dollar or two for toilet paper," Jarwan said.
The posts on social media took off, even after the giveaway ended. So Jarwan cleared the shelves of canned foods and gave those away to others who were hungry.
"I think this man would probably break himself in half to give to us," Baldridge said.
Customers took notice. Some dropped off supplies of their own, knowing it would make it into the hands of those who needed it most.
Baldridge says it was heartwarming to see during a time when things have felt so dark.
"He was so willing to give with a kind heart and a warm smile," Baldridge said. "That’s what we need in our community today is more people that care and want to help our community."
Jarwan says he's not sure he's deserving of the award, but wants to continue to do more. He plans to give away a few scholarships to students attending Marshall University.
"It really touches my heart, we don’t expect that," Jarwan said. "We don’t do this for any recognition. It really was an emotional moment for us. Especially that it came at the recommendation of some of the people in the community, it’s so special to us. Honestly, it’s more important than any money that we make, and it’s just that people appreciate the little things that we are trying to do."
Because even if it's a few cents on gas, or a can of soup in someones hand, you can't put a price on gratitude or thankfulness.