Widow's mission to carry on husband's good deed tradition inspires others

Velvet Poveromo has a cooler of cold drinks and fresh food for passersby.

July 6, 2018, 3:27 PM

One New Jersey resident is carrying on her husband's good deed legacy.

Velvet Poveromo of New Milford, New Jersey, said her husband, Charlie Poveromo, started offering cold water bottles to local residents eight years ago. The tradition started one summer when he noticed a group of sanitation truck workers struggling in the heat.

Charlie Poveromo died last March of a heart attack but Velvet Poveromo said it would be good for the community to carry on his tradition.

"I feel like he’s helping to heal me and I’m healing through him by doing this," she said.

Little did she know that her late husband's tradition would be copied by people in at least 15 states. People around the country have even sent her donations for “Charlie’s Cooler.”

"Charlie didn’t do it for a pat on the pack," Poveromo said. "He didn’t even tell me all that he was doing."

Wendy Yearger of Ortley Beach, New Jersey, heard about the tradition through a friend and decided to pay it forward.

"I just think if we as a society do the little things for each other [it would] make this world a better place," she told ABC News.

Velvet Poveromo's cooler including snacks and cold drinks for local workers and walkers.
Velvet Poveromo

Some are even making it a family tradition.

"I grew up in their hometown,” said Mary Cosney. "When Charlie passed away, the entire town was floored. He was one of the best people. He shined like a diamond – wherever he went, he brought happiness. To support them, I would’ve done anything. Charlie did it every single summer, and so will I.”

Mary Cosney's cooler, a participant from New Jersey.
Mary Cosney/Facebook