Author Topic: Finally, someone even more REAL than Me.  (Read 110 times)

Trauma-san

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Finally, someone even more REAL than Me.
« on: September 24, 2003, 04:52:59 AM »
Shoeshiner gives $89,000 to hospital
Wednesday, September 24, 2003 Posted: 5:41 AM EDT (0941 GMT)


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PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Just as he's done for more than two decades, Albert Lexie gets out of bed at 5 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, takes two buses to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and makes his rounds -- offering shoe shines for $3.

Also every Tuesday, Lexie goes to an office building about three blocks from the hospital and hands over his weekly donation -- shoeshine tips, gifts from customers and contributions -- to the hospital's Free Care Fund.

Lexie's efforts make about $10,000 every year, and he's donated more than $89,000 since February 1981 to the fund, which helps pay for medical care to pediatric patients regardless of their families' ability to pay.

Most people who know Lexie say he's a man of routine and a man of goals. Ultimately, he wants to raise more money than Jerry Lewis, the actor whose Labor Day telethons raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

"It's like I say all the time, 'Jerry's got his kids and I got mine, and they're all right here in Pittsburgh,"' Lexie told a regular customer, Dr. Michael Painter, as he buffed the pediatric neurologist's brown wingtip shoes.

Lexie is something of a celebrity around Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, where the hospital is located, and in the Westmoreland County community where he lives.

On a recent donation drop, the 61-year-old, wearing a worn red button that says, "Please Help Albert's Kids," handed over bundles of change and bills collected from his customers and donation canisters left in businesses.

Lexie's shoe-shining career started about 46 years ago, when he was 15 and made his first shoeshine box in a high school shop class. He soon started to travel from store to store in the communities near his home and even opened a shop for a short time.

Around that time, Lexie got in the habit of watching an annual telethon that benefits the hospital. Hoping to one day meet the local news anchor who hosted the telethon, he decided a generous donation might do the trick.

As his donations grew, officials invited him to shine shoes in the hospital. Donations and the attention they garnered seemed to snowball from there.

Last month, the hospital honored Lexie by giving him a custom-made cart to replace the 30-pound box he still occasionally lugs around the sprawling building.

"You know when Albert is in a department because everyone is walking around in their socks, waiting for their shoes to be shined," hospital spokeswoman Melanie Finnigan said.
 

CharlieBrown

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Re:Finally, someone even more REAL than Me.
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2003, 05:08:50 AM »
If only everyone was like him.
Charlie, lost his life right in front of the party...
 

UnstoppableForce

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Re:Finally, someone even more REAL than Me.
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2003, 01:01:23 PM »
Damn, what a great person.
 

Jome

Re:Finally, someone even more REAL than Me.
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2003, 05:01:20 PM »