Friday, February 22, 2013

Shoe shiner donates his tips to Children's Hospital - all $200,000 of them! Gives every cent of his tips back to the children.

PITTSBURGH —It starts before dawn in the Pittsburgh darkness, as the 88 Penn pulls up in front of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Albert Lexie gets off the bus.
For 32 years, Lexie has been examining his schedule each morning, like a doctor on the clock. But the longtime shoe shiner’s gift isn’t healing, it’s giving back.

A shoe shine costs $5, but Lexie said customers have been generous with their tips since he started working at the hospital in 1981.
“Most of them give $6, some of them give $7,” Lexie told Channel 4 Action News anchor Wendy Bell.
And Lexie gives every cent of his tips back to the children.

“I think he does it because he loves the kids,” said Dr. Joseph Carcillo. “He's donated over a third of his lifetime salary to the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund.”
The money goes to parents of sick children who can’t afford to pay medical costs.
“He's a philanthropist, is what he is,” said Carcillo. “He's an entrepreneur.”
Lexie has donated $200,000 to the cause, bringing in several hundred dollars a week.
“I had a doctor who gave me a $50 bill for Christmas,” he told Bell with a laugh. For a simple man who’s been shining shoes since about 1957, Lexie admits, “It’s good to be a hero.”