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Albert Lexie of Monessen, has been shining shoes at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC since 1982. Just about every Tuesday and Thursday, Albert leaves his home at 5:50 a.m. to arrive at Children’s at 7:25 a.m. to begin shining shoes.
Through the years, he has given all of his tips – more than $200,000 – to the Free Care Fund, which ensures that all Children’s patients receive the medical care they need regardless of their families’ ability to pay. What makes this gesture so awe-inspiring is that Mr. Lexie only earns about $10,000 a year.
At age 15, Mr. Lexie built a shoeshine box in high school shop class. Today, he makes shoes sparkle for $3 a shine. Usually, customers give him a little extra for “my kids,” as Mr. Lexie calls them.
During the last 28 years, he has donated all the tips he has earned from his shoeshine business to Children’s Hospital’s Free Care Fund. Mr. Lexie refers to the patients and children at Children’s as “Albert’s kids.”
Mr. Lexie has received several awards over the years for his 28 years of charity work, including:
In addition, Lexie has been on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Jane Pauley Show, and the CBS Evening News.
Albert Lexie's book, Albert’s Kids, The Heroic Work of Shining Shoes for Sick Children<> is available by making a donation to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Click here to order Albert's book online
Thank you for making Albert one of the 30 “All Stars Among Us”. He was honored at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on FOX. The campaign — organized by Major League Baseball and PEOPLE magazine — recognizes individuals who are serving the community in extraordinary ways.
Mr. Lexie was featured in a special pre-game ceremony July 13, 2010 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. This was a wonderful honor for Mr. Lexie who is extremely generous to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Learn more about the recipients of the "All Stars Among Us" contest.
Shoe Shiner Turns 30 Years of Tips Into $200,000 in Gifts
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 02/25/13
How shoe-shiner has given $200K to Pittsburgh children's hospital
Los Angeles Times, 02/23/13
Hospital Has A Shoeshine Saint
CBS News, 02/11/09
Institute recognizes 13 caring Americans of all ages
USA Today, 10/16/06
Children's makes job easier for a favorite donor
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/06/03
Albert Lexie: A Shining Example
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to: