When Gloria called John to fix a ceiling light, he came to her home and discovered that the broken light wasn’t the only thing that needed fixing. So he got to work.
John Kinney of Woburn, Massachusetts is an electrician who came across Gloria Scott, a 72-year-old woman living in a broken down home.
When Gloria called John to fix a ceiling light, he came to her home and discovered that the broken light wasn’t the only thing that needed fixing. Gloria was poor and couldn’t afford much-needed house repairs. Consequently, her home was in a bad state.
Her house was falling apart
During his visit to fix the ceiling light, John noticed just how shabby Gloria’s house. “There was extensive plumbing damage, there was holes in the ceiling, raccoons were getting in,” he said.
No lights, running water. I think I seen her on a Friday, and it stuck with me over the weekend and I said, ‘I got to go back there.’
Gloria’s kitchen sink was broken, so boiling water would spill over. She couldn’t afford any repairs, despite the dangers of living in that environment.
It was definitely a hazard. It was a rough condition she was living in and I noticed immediately.
He couldn’t just leave her behind
After John finished his repair, he couldn’t stop thinking about Gloria, who lived alone in her shabby house. So he decided that come Monday, he would go back and do more work for free.
I knew she needed help and I knew she wasn’t going to ask for it
With the help of his friends, John got started on some yard work. Eventually, he realized he would need more hands. So he started a Facebook page titled “Nice old lady needs help” where he solicited other tradespeople to help.
While the Facebook announcement said “It’s not like we’re trying to rebuild her whole house,” the plan changed along the way.
Yea, well now it looks like we are! This whole porch is going to get rebuilt. You can see up there where the raccoons were getting in.
The response to the ad was more than amazing. More than $100,000 were raised to help the renovation of Gloria’s home.
“The project kept growing and support kept pouring in,” Kinney said.
He changed her house–and her life
It was a big job, John and his team put in all new electrical, all new plumbing, new windows and walls and ceilings. They replaced nearly everything in the house and didn’t charge for any of it!
The whole town of Woburn is pitching in, sharing tools, gift baskets, even food for the men.
“Look at these people!” Gloria said. “I mean, I can’t even comprehend the gratitude that I have.”
John’s initiative changed her life, and he noticed it.
“She’s been here by herself for over 10 years, so I’m sure it’s a big change for her, but she’s warmed up to everybody,” said Kinney.
She’s so happy, she’s got all types of new friends. She’s out here making lunch for us, laughing, joking. It’s just a miracle to witness.
More than just Gloria’s house
“It’s not going to end with this house though either, is it?” CBS News asked John. The latter has big plans for the future.
“I don’t want it to,” he said. ” And that’s why we put a name to it — the Gloria’s Gladiators — and we want to keep going with this.”
John hopes there’ll ultimately be Gloria’s Gladiators across the country helping other seniors in similar circumstances.
The world needs a lot more kind strangers like John!