Charlie Poveromo passed away suddenly from a heart attack, flooded with grief, his wife decided to continue his daily good deed as a way to heal.
Velvet Poveromo’s life was flipped when her husband of 37 years suddenly passed away. Struck with grief, she realised summer was approaching. Summer was an important time for Charlie.
For the last 8 years, every summer, Charlie would place a cooler box on his lawn and fill it with ice and drinks for the service men and women that crossed his path.
It all started during a massive heatwave 8 years ago, he saw the garbagemen struggling through the heat, pale and weak as they worked to get their collections done. He quickly went inside and made them ice cold drinks. This random act of kindness led way to a daily good deed. For the next eight years, he dragged the cooler box out every single summer’s day, Monday to Friday.
“Charlie saw our garbage truck pull up and the men were pale and sweating profusely. He came running into the kitchen, grabbed a bunch of plastic cups and our big jug of water and made sure everyone got as much as they wanted. That very afternoon, he ran to the store, bought several cases of bottled water and bags of ice and the next morning at 6:30 am, after working all night and only getting a few hours of sleep, he loaded them into one of our coolers and waited for the truck to roll up.”
“I watched as he went up to the truck and explained that, from now on, the cooler would contain cold drinks for them all summer long. As word spread, we’d often see not only our sanitation engineers but DPW employees, police officers, firemen, construction workers and the like stop by for a breather, some shade under our tree and a nice cold bottle of water. Last year, he expanded his “menu” to include Gatorade and orange juice.”
Velvet took on the task of filling the cooler up and leaving it out for the servicemen. The first day of summer, she placed it under their tree and left a note explaining that her husband had passed away. The people who had spent the last few years accepting the daily good deed quickly sprung into action and started doing things around the house.
Velvet never saw who it was, but knew people were helping out because her lawn would be cut, her recycling sorted and so much more. The part that had us sobbing in the office was this…
“Then, last Thursday, as I headed toward my house after restocking the cooler, I heard the unmistakable sound of the garbage truck ease to a stop and as I turned to look, I watched in awe as each man stepped off the truck, the driver getting out to join them and in a straight line they stood together and saluted our home and me!!”
“As is happening at this very moment, my eyes filled with tears and my body began to tremble as one by one they each came up to me, grasped my hand, gave me a hug and told me how very sorry they were and that no one had ever shown them the thoughtfulness and appreciation my husband had and then slowly, one by one, they each took a water bottle or two, climbed back up on the truck and gave a loud beep as they drove off.”
The respect given to Velvet honestly had us bawling! What a beautiful tribute to a man that did a simple daily deed. Now people are also placing coolers out in honour of Charlie.