Aurora Health Care Heroes Among Us

Dec. 15, 2006

MILWAUKEE - Very few people would have the will to be able to open up their house and their hearts to someone they didn't know. But that's exactly what John and Kathy Kinney did. Because of their generosity, a homeless, single mother of two was able to find a place to live and get proper training for a better job.

John and Kathy Kinney, both employees of the Aurora Medical Group, first learned of Areatha Jones' situation after a heart-to-heart conversation at work. Jones was a nursing assistant who had enrolled in a thirteen week training program at the Aurora Education Center with the hopes of earning a promotion for a job that could offer better hours and an increase in pay. Until the completion of the final exam, Jones would have to study full-time while making only eight dollars an hour.

A week before her final exam, Jones was forced to leave a relative's home she was staying in because drug dealers had threatened to come during the middle of the night. Jones and her children stayed at another relative's home as they were forced to move in fear of their lives.

Kathy Kinney, an administrative assistant in the Aurora Education Center, tried to help Jones receive assistance through several emergency programs, but her attempts were unsuccessful. Instead of leaving Jones to continue on her own, the Kinney's offered that Jones, her seven year-old son Davion, and her four year-old daughter Aniya, stay at their Muskego home.

Jones accepted and was able to focus on studying and passed her final exam a week later.

The next day, Kathy and Jones went hunting for apartments close to the children's school. After talking with the landlord, who offered a break on rent, Kathy wrote a check for $1,200 to cover the deposit and first month's rent. Also, the Kinney's went to their friends and family who donated clothes and furniture.

Jones passed her exam and is now a medical assistant at an Aurora Clinic. Thanks to the compassion and generosity displayed by the Kinney family the Jones' are well on their way to a better life. The families still remain close today.

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