Albert Lexie shined the shoes of staff and visitors of Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh UPMC twice a week from 1981-2013, giving all of his tips to the hospital’s Free Care Fund, a program designed to help provide medical care for children in need.  The Free Care Fund he dubbed “Albert’s Kids” usually made more money than he did.  “A shoe shine costs $5 and anything that goes over $5 goes to the Free Care Fund”, said Albert.

For over 30 years until his retirement in 2013,  Albert made the long journey by multiple buses to the hospital, leaving at 5:50 am every Tuesday and Thursday to make sure to be there on time and ready for work.   “He’s a selfless giver. He does everything, he thinks every minute of the day about ways of getting money for the children who need it for their care. He’s given a third of his life salary to this fund”, Dr. Joe Carcillo, Critical Care Medicine Physician.

Albert never made very much money for himself, the hospital states that only about $10,000 was earned annually by him, the rest he gave away.  Giving his tips was his way of giving back to a community he loved.  Upon his retirement Albert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “I wanted to see the kids get well, to see they got well and got better and things like that.”

This past October Albert passed away but the love and admiration for him lives on at Children’s Hospital and beyond.

“He’s a perfect example of how just small, incremental acts of kindness can have a really significant impact over time.”  reflected Hospital President Christopher Gessner in an interview with the Post-Gazette.

You can DONATE to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC Free Care Fund.  Every little bit counts.

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