He shines shoes.
Mr. Lexie began shining shoes as a 15-year-old in Monessen, Pennsylvania; and since 1981, he has worked at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
What does a shine cost these days? Five bucks. But Mr. Lexie’s customers usually give him a tip of $1, or maybe $2, occasionally more.
Pay attention, this is where the story gets really good . . .
Over the course of his time at Children’s Hospital, Mr. Lexie has donated all of his tips to the Hospital’s Free Care Fund, which ensures that lack of money will not prevent kids from receiving the treatment they need.
If you are wondering how much Mr. Lexie has donated from his shoe shine tips, be prepared to be amazed.
As of February, 2013, Mr. Lexie’s dollar-by-dollar contributions exceed $200,000! That’s right, he has contributed about 1/3 of his lifetime earnings to benefit “his kids,” as he calls them.
If you are not already amazed and totally awestruck by Mr. Lexie’s generosity, check out this video and learn more about this hero.
Of course, Mr. Lexie is not the only person doing generous things that make the world better for all of us. There are many such stars, even if they don’t get much attention.
I’ll give you another example, my late mother, Peg Santa Maria. After retiring, she worked as a hospital volunteer. Over time, she donated more than 25,000 hours. That equals more than 12 years of full-time employment and it probably would have produced a quarter million dollars if she had worked for money instead of for the joy of helping.
So, the next time you are watching the television news and thinking that the world is going to hell, remember Albert Lexie and Peg Santa Maria. No capes. No superpowers. Just ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The world is full of heroes. You can be one yourself.
(If you haven’t heard enough about Albert Lexie yet, this is a longer video (8:25) from a few years ago.)
Oh, and sorry about the headline.