Shoe shiner donates $200K in tips

After 32 years shining shoes at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital, Albert Lexie amassed $200,000 in tips—and paid it right into a fund for sick kids whose families cannot afford medical costs. [WTAE]


  1. OK, that’s sad.  It’s good but sad too.  Because the post-facto costs should not be the major concern. The major concern here should be effective treatments, with the money going to research and development.  But our health care system is so fuct in the head that we worry ourselves with “how will these poor people afford their child’s cancer treatments?”  Meanwhile over in another universe, the compassionate one, the costs would be nothing.  People in that universe are simply concerned about curing the children.

      1. Unfortunately not. That was my first thought – his lifetime of savings will pay for some fraction of one child’s treatment.

          1. You’re probably about right.  This will pay the hospital for 1 child’s treatment, which the hospital might have eaten anyway and tried to recoup from the state.  I’m not judging the shoe-shiner, and I’m not saying there was a better place for his money.  All I’m saying is that this system is so ODD that to donate 200k to it is like donating 200k to the Shoe Shiners of America Fund for Free Shoe Shines.  It’s an absurd system.  It does not move in rational ways.

    1. Very true – and as a thought experiment its sobering for those of you in countries that don’t have socialised healthcare.

      But he’ll still likely save a couple peoples lives – that’s pretty commendable.

      I know I’d rather contribute to direct action, than drop another suitcase of money in the research ocean.

        1.  Yes, you are right.  It is strange.  (I am a small barnacle over here in a tide pool of the research ocean.)

  2. That’s very inefficient.
    The tip money should just be deposited directly into the Children’s Hospital’s CEO’s bank account to avoid all the overhead costs.

  3. Wow… what an extraordinary gesture for one person to do.  If we all would be considerate enough to donate a little we would not only help ourselves, but each other.  Just imagine if every one gave 10 cents to ten charities or causes in your community… it would only equate to a dollar, but could do wonders.

  4. To the posters above who are being cynical and negative:
    Kindly unfuck yourself.

    The man has donated $200,000 over the last 32 years. Sure, it might have stretched further in the past than it does now, but that doesn’t mean that his current contributions, no matter how small they are at a time, mean any less. 

    Instead of complaining about hospital costs, try reposting this everywhere, to inspire others to donate, and help.

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