Secret Millionaire School Teacher Leaves Special Needs Kids $1 Million

How precious is this!

Genevieve Via Cava was a teacher who helped special needs children in Dumont, New Jersey.  She retired in 1990, but she was never too far from the school or her students.  She would drop in to visit the superintendent, she’d check in on her former classes, and just generally stay connected.

She died twenty-one years after her retirement.  And the Dumont Public Schools just got a very surprising gift from the unassuming woman.
$1 million. CNN has the story:
The former educator, who had no children or immediate family of her own, had amassed a small fortune through her exceptional saving habits. She left the astonishing donation in her will to fund scholarships for special education students seeking post-secondary education.
School superintendent Emanuele Triggiano calls Via Cava’s gift “a blessing.” In her frequent visits, Via Cava had told Triggiano about her passion for her students and how much she liked working at Dumont.
“One day she quietly told me she accumulated a large sum of money and she planned on donating it,” said Triggiano, who was pleased but didn’t give it much thought at the time.
Beginning with next spring’s high school graduates, scholarships will be available to one or more special education students planning to continue their education. The amount will depend on how much interest is generated by the $1 million gift, with a maximum amount of $25,000 per student.
“In the event the scholarship fund grows to the extent that two or more scholarships can be made available, we can then give it to additional students,” Triggiano said.
Her friend — to whom she gave her house — said that he wouldn’t have ever guessed she had that kind of money.
“She used to come into my store and go to the 70-percent-off rack and that’s all she would buy,” a store owner recalled. She didn’t ever spend money on the hearing aids she needed. Here’s more from CNN:
Dumont Public Schools will be feeling Via Cava’s love for years to come, but they won’t be the only beneficiary of her generosity. April Savoye, Via Cava’s attorney, said the late teacher also left $100,000 each to five more organizations, including the Ramapo Animal Refuge and the Salvation Army.
“Because she had no immediate family of her own, and not even many not-so-distant relatives, it made sense for her to make this donation,” Savoye wrote in an email. “It took a while to distribute the money because it was a sizable estate and it takes time to get the federal government and state government to approve and finalize estate tax returns.”

What a sweet story — an inspiration for all of us to be more generous!

Hat Tip: CNN

Image Credit: CNN Video Screen Cap


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