People at Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh really have taken a shine to Albert Lexie.
Lexie, 69, of Monessen, has been shining shoes at Children’s Hospital since 1982, and accepting tips from customers on behalf of "his kids," as he refers to the patients at Children's.
“This right here is Children Hospital's list,” he showed Channel 11’s Jennifer Abney. “If you see these marks here, these are the ones I am going to see today.”
Lexie started shining shoes when he was 14 years old. That was more than 50 years ago.
Twice a week for the past 30 years he has made the three-hour round trip bus ride from Monessen to Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville to shine shoes. Lexie then donates all of his tips to Children’s Free Care Fund, which ensures that all patients receive the medical care they need regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
“I just like to support the kids at Children's Hospital, this is my favorite charity and I like it a lot,” he said.
Lexie charges only a few dollars per shoe shine. Amazingly, he’s raised nearly $200,000 over the past three decades. However, Lexie wanted to do more and asked Dr. Joe Carcillo to help.
Together, the two created, wrote and published a book, “Albert’s Kids: The Heroic Work of Shining Shoes for Sick Children,” about his heartwarming experiences over the years.
“He is really one of Pittsburgh's finest, a great role model for anyone,” said Dr. Carcillo. “He has given one third of his income all his working life for children for Albert's Kids and he does it with a whole heart.”
Lexie’s book is selling for $20, with proceeds benefiting the Free Care Fund.