Electricians are used to entering people’s homes and observing how they live, but when John Kinney of Woburn, Massachusetts, entered the abode of an elderly woman named Gloria, he could not believe his eyes.
John and his brother Dan own and operate Kinney Electric. Gloria called them when sparks started “shooting out of her light fixture,” but as soon as John got there, he saw a million other problems that needed fixing.
“When I arrived at her house, I discovered that the electrical was in very bad shape,” John wrote on Facebook. “Half her lights were out, she had no stove, and her refrigerator was plugged into an extension cord. I fixed her immediate electrical hazards and got her lights and air conditioning on.”
Even though John had accomplished what he came to do, he simply couldn’t walk away knowing that Gloria was living in such poor conditions. The house was filthy and falling down around her, and she confessed that wild animals frequently got inside. Outside, the paint was chipped, the gutters were falling off the roof, and there was junk, debris, and overgrown foliage everywhere.
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After talking more, John discovered she has no family and very little money. He decided on the spot that he was going to reach out to his network of contractors and colleagues to see who might be willing to help. He also started an online fundraiser and asked for donations of both time and money, and their community responded!
“We knew she needed help, it was apparent,” John’s brother Dan said. “But she’s so kindhearted and good-natured that she wouldn’t ever want to impose on anybody to ask for it.”
The next weekend, an army of plumbers, carpenters, and landscapers showed up ready to work!
They cleared out the brush and overgrown trees from Gloria’s yard and rebuilt her crumbling front porch. Meanwhile, John and Dan gave her a brand new electrical system!
Some local restaurants heard about the project and sent lunch and drinks for the workers, while neighbors donated cash for materials and sent gifts for Gloria and her dog Choo Choo. Even the neighborhood kids got involved, scraping and painting the home’s exterior!
Dan said Gloria is “just so grateful” for all the help, but the Kinney brothers and their army of volunteers aren’t finished yet!
They’re still heading over every chance they get and organizing more workers. They hope to have the entire home repaired and ready for winter in a few short weeks.
Many hands really do make light work! The world needs more people like John, who see a wrong and simply can’t walk away without righting it. Thank you to everyone who made this possible for Gloria!
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