A man who spent over 30 years collecting tips from his hospital shoeshine business has passed away, after donating over $200,000 to sick children.
Albert Lexie was a career shoeshiner at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital, where he served children, janitors and doctors alike by shining their shoes to an immaculate condition. As you’d expect, he collected quite a few tips over the years. But it was what he chose to do with the cash that has created a legacy that will affect many, many lives for years to come.
Lexie earned a salary of just $10,000 in his physically demanding and repetitive job, so you’d expect him to hold on to any extra cash he was given to treat himself once in a while. But that wasn’t Lexie’s way. A humble man with a heart of compassion, he decided to hand over every additional dime to the children’s hospital’s Free Care Fund. Through his long-term dedication, Lexie managed to donate an astonishing $202,000 to children in desperate need of medical attention, “Today” reported.
“He is the perfect example of how small incremental acts of kindness can impact millions of people,” the hospital’s president said following Lexie’s death on October 16.
The shoeshiner was well-recognized for his humility and service to those around him.
In 2006, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Caring Americans and, in 2010, he was honored at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Lexie, however, was never about fame or fortune. He just wanted to make a difference in this world, even if it took enormous personal sacrifice.
“I wanted to see the kids get well,” he said.
Albert’s story is so wonderful that it has been turned into a book titled, “Albert’s Kids: The Heroic Work of Shining Shoes for Sick Children.”
“Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Free Care Fund ensures that all patients receive the outstanding medical care they need, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. For almost thirty years, shoeshiner Albert Lexie has traveled by bus twice a week from his hometown of Monessen, Pennsylvania, to Children’s to shine shoes-and then donate his tips to the Free Care Fund,” reads a description of the book.”When asked why he is so committed to donating to Children’s Free Care Fund, Albert said, ‘I have many kids. I love my kids. It’s important to help my kids.'”
“This book is delightful!” read one review of the book. “Wish there were more Albert lexie’s in this world! Such a sweet man!”
May Albert rest in peace, and may his selfless legacy never be forgotten.