When summer arrives and heat becomes an issue that we must address, we all understand the significance of staying hydrated and cool. Of course, in some occupations – such as those that require workers to be outside – it is not always possible to drink the required amounts of water or to stay in the shade.
Charlie Poveromo of New Jersey saw local sanitation employees sweating and toiling in the scorching summer heat and realized he couldn’t stand by and watch; he had to act.
Charlie was well aware that construction workers and others in similar occupations struggled to stay hydrated and cool.
“He rushed into the kitchen, grabbing a number of plastic cups and our big jug of water, and making sure everyone had as much as they needed,” his wife Velvet recalled.
However, one summer in 2018, the cooler went missing…
Charlie and Velvet had been married for 37 years when Charlie died of a heart attack three months before summer arrived, according to Velvet.
“When the weather began to warm up, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, my God, the water bottles.'”
Despite her anguish, she tracked out the water cooler and went to the shop to replenish her water bottles, determined to carry on the ritual her devoted husband had established.
Workers saw the cooler, but as they got closer, they noticed Velvet had left a note for them. She described her circumstances in it, as well as leaving prayer cards from Charlie’s service behind.
“In case you didn’t know, my husband, Charlie, died unexpectedly on March 10th at the age of 57.” “I will continue to give bottled water as best I can,” the note stated.
After reading Velvet’s note, the workers did something absolutely unexpected. The workers expressed their gratitude for Charlie’s generosity and informed Velvet that she had decided to continue his practice of treating them to ice-cold water, knowing how terrible it must have been for her.
“… I turned to see the garbage truck come to a halt, and I watched in astonishment as each man stepped off the truck, the driver getting off to join them, and they stood in a straight line saluting our home and me!! My eyes welled up with tears, and my body trembled as one by one, they each came up to me, grabbed my hand, hugged me, and apologized profusely, saying that no one had ever shown them the thoughtfulness and appreciation that 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 away.”
Even though Charlie isn’t here anymore, Velvet knows he’s keeping an eye on her and is proud that she’s carrying on his legacy of kindness and generosity for others.