Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 5, 2006

“A Shining Example”

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:00 pm

Mark in Mexico reports:

This is an unbelievable story. Shoeshiner Albert Lexie, in 24 years, has donated $100,000 to the Free Care Fund at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh – from his tips. The man only makes about $10,000 a year and donates another $10,000 to the hospital. What’s more, he’s got his own website.

Think about that for a moment. He makes $20,000 a year and gives half of it to the hospital, every year, year-in and year-out. Kind of makes Bill and Melinda Gates look like a couple of pikers, doesn’t it?

Not to mention you and I.

From the news story:

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ — Shoeshiner Albert Lexie has achieved a remarkable milestone, raising more than $100,000 for the Free Care Fund at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh by donating tips from his business over the last two dozen years.

Children’s held a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006, to recognize Lexie’s commitment to the patients of Children’s. …

Lexie, a 64-year-old Monessen, Pa., resident, has been shining shoes at Children’s since 1982 and accepting tips from customers on behalf of “his kids,” as Lexie refers to the patients at Children’s. Charging $3 per shine, Lexie donates all tips to Children’s Free Care Fund, which ensures that all children receive medical care, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

At age 15, Lexie built a shoeshine box in high school shop class. He now uses that same box to shine shoes at Children’s every Tuesday and Thursday. On those days he makes the trip by bus from his hometown to Oakland, leaving home at 5:50 a.m. and arriving at the hospital at 7:25 a.m. In addition to shining shoes at Children’s, Lexie travels to Salomon Smith Barney in Pittsburgh and the business districts of Charleroi, Donora, Monessen and Monongahela to offer his services. His yearly income is only about $10,000, and he donates roughly $10,000 a year to the Free Care Fund.

Lexie was recognized in 2001, receiving an Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the organization’s Western Pennsylvania Chapter. In 1997, he received a Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Citizen. He also has been recognized by several Rotary organizations in the Monongahela Valley.

To read more about Albert or to make an online donation to his fund- raising effort, please visit Children’s Web site at www.chp.edu, or call 412- 586-6310 or 877-CHP-GIVE. Visit Albert’s personal Web site at www.kevweb.com/albert/index.htm.

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