NEWCASTLE, Maine — Nick Tillis, wearing bright red coveralls in the Valentine’s Day chill, walked up to Marva Nesbit’s porch as she called out, “What in the world?”

Tillis and two co-workers from midcoast fuel dealer Colby and Gale, quickly gave her the answer. They had come bearing gifts.

“You’ve been selected for our Fuel Your Love program,” Tillis told Newbitt.

“So we’re going to give you a rose, some candy, and gonna fill your tank for nothing today. “

“Oh my God,” was Nesbit’s first response. Then repeatedly said thanks, and told the small group how much the gift lifted her spirits.

“I already lore Colby and Gale, you don’t need to do more,” she laughed.

Nesbit is one of ten of the company’s customers selected for the Valentine’s gift this year, the fifth time the company has been part of the statewide program, created by the Maine Energy Marketers Association, and industry advocacy group. Twelve companies are participating this year. 

Maine Energy of Bangor was making deliveries to six homes in that city on Friday. Owner Bob Colt told reporters, “it makes your heart warm, it's something we tried last year and just had to do it again.”

At Colby and Gale, office manager Rhonda Mott coordinated the selection of recipient customers.

“They support us all year round, let us support them for one day,” said Mott.

The gift of a fill-up is a major help for some of the customers, who have been struggling financially this winter.

“This really helps,” said one homeowner in Boothbay, who said he is a builder recuperating from a back injury. 

“I think its wonderful," said Colby and Gale driver Tim Pratt. “To be able to help somebody out who may be in a hardship, (it can) make their day.”

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