It’s been seven months since Charlie Poveromo suddenly died of a heart attack at age 57— but because his widow is making sure to carry on his compassionate tradition, people across the nation are paying it forward too.

Charlie was a beloved bartender, a devoted husband, and a bustling homeowner. Not only that, he was extraordinarily kind.

When a heat wave struck Milford, New Jersey eight years ago, Charlie spotted several city garbagemen looking pale, sweaty, and exhausted as they worked in the grueling temperatures outside his home. He grabbed several cups of cooled water, ran outside, ushered the men into the shade, and offered them their fill of hydration.

Then, as a means of ensuring that his local laborers always had something to drink in the heat, Charlie started putting a cooler outside of the house filled with ice, bottled water, orange juice, and Gatorade. Every summer for the last eight years, the cooler would be alongside the street during the 5-day work week. In addition to the trash collection folks stopping by the cooler, firemen, police officers, and construction workers would pass by the house for a drink.

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So after he died in March, Charlie’s widow Velvet made sure to continue the tradition.

Despite dealing with the grief of losing her husband, Velvet put the cooler outside and filled it with drinks and breakfast treats. She also put up a photo of her husband, some prayer cards, and a sign that read: “In case you were unaware, my husband Charlie passed away suddenly at age 57 on March 10th. I will do my best to continue to provide bottled water.”

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Velvet wrote about her story on Facebook where her determination to carry on with Charlie’s Cooler became inspiration for other people to pay it forward as well.

Social media users from New Jersey to Wyoming have started putting out their own coolers to honor Charlie. Velvet says that local community members have stopped by to hug her, pay homage to her late husband, and even take care of the lawn in his place.

Velvet recalled her joy over the movement by saying: “I was married to Charlie for 37 years (and, although he’s not right here beside me, we are still and always will be married) and he’s been gone for 3 months now, yet he continues to amaze me and still has a way of bringing a smile to my face and joy to my life!!”

(READ Velvet’s emotional story below)

Share This Sweet Story Of Kindness And Love With Your Friends – Photo by Velvet Poveromo

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