Pittsburgh crossing guards get a big thank you


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Maureen Twigg is at her intersection in Squirrel Hill, every morning and every afternoon, shepherding pedestrians across the busy intersection of Forbes and Murray Avenues.

Across the city, there are 108 other crossing guards who, just like Ms. Twigg, stand at their posts five days a week, no matter the weather.

"Oftentimes, their job is thankless," said Diane Richard, spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh police.

Today, though, Ms. Twigg and her fellow crossing guards got a big thank you.

Representatives from Rite Aid, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary with 50 acts of wellness in 12 cities, suprised crossing guards throughout the city with thank-you packages.

"We thought it was important to come out today and show our support, and provide them with an outdoor wellness kit," said district manager Jeff Suriano, who ovesees the 19 Rite Aids in the city of Pittsburgh. The kits, presented in Rite Aid bags, included pain relievers, hand sanitizers, gel shoe inserts and a thank-you card.

Rite Aid representatives are delivering the packages to all the crossing guards in the city, and they started today with Ms. Twigg, who started her career as a crossing guard on Aug. 31, 1993. They didn't have far to look, because Ms. Twigg is also a cashier at the nearby Rite Aid.

On a morning with rain off and on, Ms. Twigg, 54, of Greenfield, was at her usual spot as the sun slowly rose over Squirrel Hill.

She took a break at about 7:30 a.m. -- and was relieved by her boss, crossing guards supervisor Elaine Alter -- to receive her wellness package.

Ms. Twigg stands watch at her intersection between 6:50 and 8:45 every morning, then again from 2:45 to 4:30 every afternoon. In between, she works as a Rite Aid cashier and stocker.

She was happy to receive the wellness package, especially the gel insoles, since she spends most of her day standing.

"It keeps me going," she said of her schedule. "That's why my insoles will come in handy."

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This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To subscribe: http://press.post-gazette.com/ Kaitlynn Riely: kriely@post-gazette.com. or 412-263-1707.


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