Any electrician can flip a switch — but only John Kinney of Woburn, Massachusetts, can make a customer light up like Gloria Scott.
Last month, the 72-year-old Scott called John to fix a ceiling light. But he soon discovered that the broken light was the least of her problems. Too poor to make any house repairs and too prideful to ask for help, Gloria’s house was in total disrepair.
“No lights, running water,” John said. “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.'”
John returned and started working for free. He also started a Facebook page titled “Nice old lady needs help” where he called on other tradespeople to join him.
“On the Facebook page, you said, ‘It’s not like we’re trying to rebuild her whole house,'” CBS News said.
“Yea, well now it looks like we are!” John responded, adding, “This whole porch is going to get rebuilt. You can see up there where the raccoons were getting in.”
They’ve been at it about a month now, putting in all new electrical, all new plumbing, new windows and walls and ceilings. Almost everything is getting replaced, from the back yard lawn to the front porch steps.
The whole town of Woburn is pitching in. Even those who can’t build are now showing up with shovels and rakes, sending gift baskets and plying the workers with food.
“Look at these people!” Gloria said. “I mean, I can’t even comprehend the gratitude that I have.”
John is equally speechless. “It’s just – there’s no words for it, you know,” he said.
“It’s not going to end with this house though either, is it?” CBS News asked.
“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 said he would like to see chapters of Gloria’s Gladiators across the country helping seniors in similar circumstances. Seniors like Gloria Scott, who now shines brilliantly — thanks to an electrician hard-wired for kindness.
To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, email us: [email protected]