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Anyone who follows Lê of Hop Sing Laundromat on social media knows he can be sharp with his wit, but underneath all his teasing, he has a good heart. After hearing about the two kids left behind by firefighter Joyce Craig-Lewis, including a young baby, he felt the urge to help.

Last week, he donated $2,500 to a memorial fund that Philadelphia Fire Fighters’ & Paramedics Union Local 22 set up in her name. Then, Lê challenged others to do the same, offering to match all donations up to an additional $2,500.

“I saw [Craig-Lewis’] son when I dropped off the check,” Lê told Billy Penn. “He looked sad. It’s a terrible, terrible thing.”

An 11-year veteran of the force, Craig-Lewis had been helping extinguish a fire at a house on West Oak Lane on December 9 when she became trapped inside, and became Philly’s first female firefighter to die in the line of duty.

According to Local 22 first vice-president Tim McShea, all the money from the fund will go directly to helping Craig-Lewis’ children. Sixteen-year-old Mekhi and 16-month-old Laylani are currently living with a family member who is acting as guardian until one is legally appointed.

To have your donation matched by Lê, forward a check or money order made payable to “Local 22 Joyce Craig-Lewis Memorial Fund” to:

Hop Sing Laundromat
1029 Race Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Note that Lê will not accept cash. “We do not wish for things to get ‘blurry,’” he noted on Facebook, where he also posted photo proof of his initial contribution.

To donate directly, send your gift to:

Philadelphia Fire Fighters & Paramedics Union
415 North 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

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Danya Henninger

Danya Henninger is director of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the...