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ALBERT'S KIDS


Albert Lexie isn’t a doctor or nurse or specialist. But yet he gets on the bus very early three days a week, every week, all year round, and rides for almost two hours to get to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. In his own way, he does a ton of healing while he’s there.


It all started one night more than two decades ago when Albert was watching television. The hospital was conducting its annual telethon. His heart was touched. The next day, he took the bus to the hospital for the first time. He handed a surprised receptionist an envelope containing his entire life’s savings: almost $750.00. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more he could do for these kids. So another day, he went back to the hospital and convinced the administrators to let him help by doing what he knew and did well--set up a shoeshine stand and shine shoes. Only it would benefit Albert’s kids.


Each day Albert is at the hospital, he's not only polishing shoes but walking down the halls talking with or singing to sick kids to make them feel better and to brighten their lives. And most of the time, he visits the sickest of the sick, those with very little hope of going home. He uses songs, words, and prayers to help the best he can.


By shining one shoe at a time, Albert has donated more than $110,000 to the hospital. Eventually Albert won the 1997 Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Citizens and in 2006 won the National Caring Award. He was interviewed by U. S. Congressman John Kasich, who asked Albert what it was that motivated him. Albert replied that he could sing the reason better than he could explain it.


So right there, surrounded by television cameras, doctors, administrators, sick kids, assorted government officials, and city leaders Albert sang, "On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, The emblem of suffering and shame..."


(From Chasing Skinny Rabbits, Dr. John Trent, Thomas Nelson, 2007, pg. 128-130)

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