He’s lost count of the number of shoes he’s shined since starting to work at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh more than 30 years ago. But Albert Lexie hasn’t lost track of the amount of money he’s donated to sick kids in need.
The benevolent guy, who will soon retire his shoe shining kit, has given $220,000 in tips over the course of his career, CBS Pittsburgh reported.
Lexie, 71, started spiffing up people’s shoes back in the 50s, and joined the Children’s Hospital in 1981, where he worked every Tuesday and Thursday, according to CBS. Getting there by 7:15 a.m. each day required his waking up at 3:30 a.m. in order to catch a 5:10 a.m. bus, a grueling routine he gladly took on, according to Yahoo.
While patients and staff appreciated his singing and good cheer, it was his overwhelming generosity that helped him win his celebrity status.
Lexie charged $5 for a shoe shining and donated every penny customers gave in addition to the set price to the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund. The program makes sure that every local child, no matter his financial situation, gets the expert medical care he needs.
Customers have been pretty consistent over the years, usually dropping an extra dollar or two. Last Christmas, one particularly generous customer gave him $50, WTAE reported.
As for what has kept this septuagenarian going, he says that’s pretty simple.
“It makes you feel good when you do something for the kids,” he told CBS.
With Albert Lexie retiring, the Children's Hospital Free Care Fund could probably use an extra boost. Find out how you can help sick kids struggling to pay their medical bills here.