A 72-year-old woman was quietly living in a dilapidated house. Then an electrician sparked a community to help her rebuild

Scott had called because sparks were shooting out of one of her light fixtures. Once Kinney got the lights on, he realized it was just one of many issues plaguing Scott’s home.

“There was extensive plumbing damage, there was holes in the ceiling, racoons were getting in,” he said.

She also didn’t have proper running water in the house. Her kitchen sink was broken and would spew boiling water, so Scott would shut off the home’s water supply turning it on only every couple of days to flush toilets. Scott, 72 and living alone, told Kinney she couldn’t afford the repairs.

“It was definitely a hazard. It was a rough condition she was living in and I noticed immediately.”

After leaving Scott’s house, Kinney couldn’t stop thinking about the woman alone in her run-down home. So the following Monday, he came back, pulled out his tools and got working — for free.

“I knew she needed help and I knew she wasn’t going to ask for it.”

Gloria Scott is surrounded by members of the "Gloria's Gladiators" team that is rebuilding her home.

Building hope

Kinney and some friends started helping out Scott with yardwork. But in order to make all the necessary fixes, Kinney needed more people to help. He started a fundraiser page titled, “Nice old lady needs help.”

The community answered, loudly.

Within 24 hours, people had donated more than $3,500, and the amount has since topped $100,000. The money paid for skilled professionals to work on the house, but volunteers also showed up along with donated materials and supplies. And local restaurants are sending over meals.

“The project kept growing and support kept pouring in,” Kinney said.

For Scott, it wasn’t just her house that was changing, but her whole life.

“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.”

Electrician John Kinney, right, helped spark a movement to rebuild an elderly neighbor's home.

Now, over a month into the repairs, the electrical fix has turned into a full home renovation. Workers have installed a brand-new electrical system, plumbing system, new roof, new windows, new insulation, a fresh paint job, a new back porch and even new grass in the backyard.

Kinney thinks the repairs should take another few weeks “at least,” but the work has sparked a movement: Gloria’s Gladiators. The Gloria’s Gladiators Facebook page currently has more than 6,000 members. Kinney said he hopes that chapters will start popping up around the country to help other elderly people in need.

“It’s about getting the whole community to be gladiators and fighting for people who can’t fight for themselves.”

The work on Scott’s house may be close to finished, but Kinney said the two of them have built an enduring bond over this project.

“She reminds me of my grandmother. My daughter has bonded with her, my wife has bonded with her. It doesn’t stop here. Gloria is a part of my life.”

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‘Rebuild the greatest economy in American history’

House Republicans announced plans for governing with lower taxes and support for law enforcement if they are able to retake the House in the Nov. 3 election.

The GOP agenda included few details but a strong pledge from Republicans to steer clear of the far-left agenda they say House Democrats and their presidential nominee, Joe Biden, plan to follow.

Republicans called their agenda “Our Commitment to America,” and they said the plan’s objectives include restoring America to life before the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, and renewing the American dream.

They provided few details, although Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican and ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee, said the GOP would make the 2017 tax cuts permanent.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the GOP would work to create 10 million good-paying jobs.

“And we will ensure the safety and security of all communities and uphold the constitutional liberties of every single American,” the California Republican said. “Republicans will rebuild the greatest economy in history. We’ve done it once, and we’ll do it again.”

McCarthy said Republicans would work to ensure manufacturing shifts from China back to America, invest in school science and technology programs, and ensure that families have options for educating their children outside of the public system.

To win back the majority, House Republicans would need to pick up more than 20 seats now held by Democrats while winning all of their own competitive races.

Race analysts project House Republicans will not make any significant gains in November, however.

Republicans are working to distinguish themselves from Democrats in a bid to win over more moderate voters who may be turned off by the leftward swing of the Democratic Party.

Democrats, GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming said, “would defund our police, dismantle our freedom, destroy our history and abandon our founding values and every day.”

She added, “We are committing today to the United States of America that if you give us the chance, we will change that.”

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Community pitches in to help rebuild reading garden on Detroit’s west side

DETROIT – Local residents are taking part in efforts to help rebuild a reading garden on Detroit’s west side.

“Twenty-four hours later, I probably got over 100 emails, 50 phone calls about people wanting to donate, help, come clean up, funding donations, book donations, garden supplies, people just asking what can we do to help,” said Derek Clark with Greenfield Union Elementary-Middle School.

Clark is the Dean of Culture at Greenfield Union Elementary-Middle School. He says the support continues to mount as more people ask about how to help.

Original Story: Reading garden at Detroit elementary school trashed by vandals

He has not been able to respond to all the emails. “I haven’t been able to respond to everybody, and when I do respond to somebody another two, three, four, five emails are coming in,” he said.

All of this just one day after someone destroyed the reading garden designed by kids at the school.

“We had some water hoses that were out here, that were sliced up, books, completely damaged, covers torn off, pages ripped out or they were soaking wet, there are holes in the ground where the pots were damaged, so we have to get all new pots. The garden was trampled. To hurt the kids like that, I think the whole community felt the need to do something,” said Clark.

Brand new books have come in overnight to help. Just 11 books came in Friday.

“So what started out as a setback ended up being a comeback. It’s actually a blessing in disguise, so really thank you,” said Clark.

Clark said he’s organizing a community day to fix the garden.

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