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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Schizophrenic who sparked chaos at Gatwick with two kitchen knives avoids jail

Adam Russell was told he is lucky to be alive after armed police responded to his arrival

A knifeman who told a neighbour he was planning a ‘massacre’ before sparking panic at Gatwick Airport has been spared jail. 

Adam Russell, 32, turned up brandishing two huge kitchen knives having told the neighbour he was ‘going to kill them all’. Airport staff feared a terror attack and pressed a panic button, as armed police arrived within two minutes to Taser and arrest him.

Russell, who suffers with schizophrenia, was in the midst of a relapse when he boarded a bus to the London airport in the early hours of June 3, 2019, Lewes Crown Court heard, as it handed him a suspended sentence on Tuesday afternoon.

His actions caused nearly 200 people to be evacuated from the South Terminal after he headed towards the international departure lounge with the weapons. 

Russell, from Crawley, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article and affray and has apologised for his behaviour.

Prosecutor Rachel Beckett said Russell was seen by one of his neighbours about 1.30am while they both waited for a bus.

She told the court: ‘The defendant said he was going for a massacre at Gatwick. He later said he was going to kill them all.’

Russell arrived at the airport and was seen walking into the arrivals hall, carrying a knife in each hand.

Security workers pressed the panic button when he arrived at the airport

One witness said the defendant was ‘walking with purpose in his stride’ and had ‘an emotionless glazed over look in his face’.

Another said Russell looked ‘like he was on a mission’.

As onlookers realised the danger, they began shouting and running, with security staff ushering people away.

He was heard shouting ‘come on then’ as he continued to hold the knives.

Ms Beckett added: ‘(A) security officer said she was so scared when she saw the defendant she was scared he was about to start stabbing everyone.

Russell was Tasered and arrested

‘She thought “this is it, this is a terrorist attack”.’

Staff pressed the panic button at 1.54am and armed police arrived in the area at 1.55am.

Officers armed with a carbine and handguns found the defendant and shouted at him to show them his hands.

They formed the view that he was ‘aggressive and an immediate danger’ and Tasered him in the chest.

After he was arrested, he told police that he is a schizophrenic.

Russell’s mental health had been deteriorating in the lead up to the incident, the court heard

The court heard that a week before the Gatwick incident he had told ambulance staff that voices in his head were telling him to blow up the airport.

Defence barrister Fiona Clegg said: ‘What is very clear is that in the proceeding weeks to the incident that his mental health was deteriorating significantly.

‘Mr Russell now wishes me to indicate that he is now able to see – whilst he

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