Two Amazing People Helping Others

Two Amazing People Helping Others

Two amazing people helping others in their own unique ways.

Their efforts are remarkable.

They are awe-inspiring.

And these two people are real gems and there are so few of them.

One is from Canada.

The other from the United States.

Gia Tran from Vancouver has been helping others for 21 years.

Albert Lexie from Pittsburgh has been helping those in need for 30 years.

Their donations have always been small but over the years they added up.

But the most amazing about these two is that they did it year after year.

Two Amazing People Helping Others

Tran does it by collecting bottles and cans.

Her collection area is Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of Canada’s poorest neighborhoods.

Tran’s donations usually total $10 plus.

Every weekday she goes to the offices of the B.C. Cancer Foundation to make her donation.

The foundation only has records dating back 10 years.

It estimates Tran has contributed $15,000.

Once Tran has enough containers she takes them to the return depot to cash them in.

She walks because the bus takes a while and often the bus drivers won’t let her on given the size of the returns.

“I walk. On the bus I only get one bag, not two bags,” says Tran. “I walk, I don’t care,” she told the CBC in an interview.

When she has her money she either walks or takes the bus to the cancer foundation offices to make her donation.

On a good day walking takes about 45 minutes.

In the winter it can take up to 90 minutes.

“It’s always the same,” says Dianne Parker, the receptionist at the foundation’s office. “She comes in with a big smile and she always says, ‘I love everybody here, and I want to help people.'”

Two Amazing People Helping Others

The other awesome person is Lexie.

He did it by donating his tips he got from shining people’s shoes.

Over 30 years it added up – more than $200,000 that went to a fund to help sick kids.

And get this, his shoe shines only cost $3.

He only earned about $10,000 a year from his shoe shine business.

His shoe shining business  at a Pittsburgh hospital began in 1982.

Lexie lived in a small town,  Monessen, Pennsylvania.

Twice a week he left his home at 5:30 a.m. to catch the bus.

His destination was a two-hour ride to Pittsburgh, where he had his shoe shine business.

“I think Albert is a symbol of philanthropy and generosity,” says Chris Gessner.

Gessner is the president of UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

“He’s the kind of special person that people hope for in the world.”

Gessner and Lexie met 18 years ago.

Gessner walked into a meeting and just about everyone was shoeless.

“I noticed half the people were all without shoes. When I asked what’s going on, they said, “It’s Albert. He’s out in the hallway cleaning shoes.”

“He was singularly focused on helping sick kids,” Gessner says.

“He stuck to business. He was a personably, happy man, but he was very focused on shining shoes to help the kids.”

Lexie died earlier this month at age 76.

And there you have it – two totally amazing people, making the world a better place.

Of course there are others going beyond the call of duty to help those in need.

That is something we all should applaud and be in awe of.


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