How would you feel if someone called your home an “eyesore”? That’s exactly what a stranger told Jimmy Curcuru and his wife, Marilyn, about their Gloucester, Massachusetts, home. The person left a note on their property overnight that said: “Please paint me! Eyesore.”
The couple has suffered from some health issues over the years and had to hold off improvements on their house in Perkins Street. They were upset about the comment but knew that it didn’t come from anyone in their community.
“When they signed it, ‘Your neighbors,’ I know a lot of these neighbors and I know that wouldn’t come from any of them,” Jimmy said. When people from all over the world heard of the Curcurus’ story, it started a massive movement. Over nine months, more than $100,000 were donated to the couple via a GoFundMe.
Using the donations, Jimmy and Marilyn purchased a new roof, new siding, new windows, and outside staircases for their home. And whoever left the note got his “request” granted because the Curcurus were also able to give their beloved home a fresh coat of paint.
Most of the donors didn’t know the couple personally, but they still chose to give. And that generosity made Jimmy realize some things. “You see something on GoFundMe, and I try to give as much as I can to people now,” he said. “You know, going through this, a lot of people give money and they don’t have the money. When you can send dollars out of your pocket that you could really use for yourself, that’s amazing to me.”
“With the pandemic, people have got enough things to worry about on their own, but they still do for other people,” Jimmy added. “That’s quite a thing.” Speaking of home renovations, this senior woman in Woburn, Massachusetts, also received the same kindness from strangers. Since 1969, Gloria has lived in her house on Lillian Street with her dog Choo Choo. When sparks suddenly started shooting out of her light fixture at home, the power in her entire home went out.
Gloria sought the help of a neighbor, who then referred her to electrician John McKinney of Kinney Electric. When John entered the home, he was shocked to find the electrical in very bad shape. So he immediately got to work.
“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,” he recalled.
But when all the lights came on, John realized there was more to be done. He discovered that Gloria’s house was in shambles. The exterior had chipped paint, gutters were falling off the roof, and the inside of the home was dirty.
Gloria also had a broken kitchen sink and dangerously low ceilings that look so close to collapsing. In addition, her yard was filled with debris, junk, and overgrown vegetation. Since Gloria had very little money and no family, she didn’t have anyone to call for help even when she needed it.
John couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the elderly woman in that situation, so he came up with a plan. He reached out to his network of contractors and colleagues to see if anyone would help fix Gloria’s home.
Luckily, he was able to gather several volunteers who came back with him to the house to clean and do yard work. But they weren’t done. John launched a fundraiser on Facebook and set the goal at $75,000. However, it had collected over $63,000 just two weeks later.
The following weekend, the professionals who had committed to this project showed up at Gloria’s home to work. The spirit of volunteerism spread in the entire community, with local restaurants sending food to the workers and Gloria’s neighbors donating cash and materials. Some of them even sent gifts for Choo Choo.
Gloria couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who supported this project. “I couldn’t possibly afford to pay for this kind of help,” she said. “I am so grateful that you can’t imagine.” Learn more about the Gloucester home renovation in the video below.
These stories prove that kindness still abounds in the world. If you were inspired by this story, please share it with your friends and family.