Teacher Makes a Request to Man She Met in a Store – After She Passes Away, a Shocking Secret Comes Out

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*Featured image contains photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash

We often hear how important it is to save money and plan for the future. It’s a simple concept, but it can be incredibly difficult to do, especially when you consider bills and the overall cost of living. So it’s impressive to hear about someone who lived frugally and saved a lot.

When you learn about someone who was able to save millions to make a difference in so many other people’s lives, though, that’s downright heartwarming.

Cautious With Money

Genevieve Via Cava lived a pretty frugal life. The special needs teacher rarely dined out or treated herself to things like the movies or trips. Instead, she took her paycheck every week and put aside most of her earnings. She didn’t even buy new clothes but chose instead to buy items second-hand or at a super-discounted price.

Via Cava’s colleagues and friends knew how she lived, but they rarely considered what she did with her money. According to People, she clipped coupons, didn’t have any children, and was the type of person who didn’t want to fork over $4,000 on a hearing aid. In the end, it all meant she was actually able to save quite a bit.

That didn’t come out until seven years after her death, though. Following Via Cava’s passing in 2011 at the age of 89, it took years to settle her estate. When the affairs were finally settled, her former colleagues were shocked: the woman left a million dollars to New Jersey’s Dumont School District.

The interest that donation will receive going forward will be enough to fund two annual $25,000 scholarships in perpetuity, “making a huge impact in the lives of the kids she loved,” the district’s superintendent, Emanuele Triggiano, told the publication.

A Generous Heart

Over the years, Via Cava became good friends with a man named Richard Jablonski. They met at the clothing store he used to run, where he fondly recalled her shopping the “70 percent off” rack.

Eventually, Via Cava asked Jablonski to be the executor of her will. Even he was surprised to learn the extent of her savings. He recalled her chastising him for taking his kids out for dinner when he could be saving those hard-earned dollars instead. He also highlighted how she really wanted to do some good with the money she saved.

“When she told me seven years before she passed away that she had money and wanted me to handle her will, I was floored to learn how much she’d saved,” he said. “She’d call and say, ‘I want to leave $100,000 to the Salvation Army,’ and ‘I want to leave $100,000 each to county animal shelters,’ and ‘Let’s add a $100,000 donation to the hearing center.’ She certainly had a generous heart.”

The friend explained that one day, while Via Cava was at the bank of all places, she doubled over in pain. The tellers called an ambulance, but she passed away pretty quickly from sepsis. Jablonski, who now lives in Via Cava’s house, was still driving to come and see her when he got the call that she’d died.

“Genevieve was very smart — she knew finances,” he added, “She’d be thrilled to hear that the interest alone from her $1 million gift to the school district will pay for a scholarship every year. She was a strict teacher, but she loved those kids. They meant the world to her. And now her legacy will live on forever.”

Creating Our Own Legacies

Not all of us are great with money, and that’s okay. What’s so touching about this story is that it reminds us that money isn’t everything, and we don’t need new things or flashy items to make a difference. Sometimes, the best way to make a difference and create our own legacies is to commit to doing so.

For this woman, it was saving her money so that one day she could donate it to causes that mattered to her. For others, it could be committing to coaching a community sports team, volunteering at a retirement center, or working at a non-profit.

There are so many ways to make a difference in the world and to leave your mark. But the first step is always deciding that’s what you want to do.

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