There were 26 children in Tesse Ashton’s kindergarten class. Twenty-six bright, talented children eager to learn each day. Marty Burbank and his wife would volunteer frequently in the class, interacting with the kids and donating various needed supplies.
Marty is a U.S. Navy veteran with an intense love of sailing and boats in general. He even convinced the love of his life to marry him on a boat. Marty was looking forward to retirement and buying the boat of his dreams for he and his wife to sail around, relaxing and just enjoying their time together.
And then Marty went to church one day. It was not his first visit to church, but God made this particular visit have quite a weighty impact. According to an interview with CBS, Marty said, “My pastor… gave a sermon, and he was talking about charity and sacrifice and giving, and all of a sudden, buying a boat seemed like a very selfish thing.” He knew in that moment, that he would do something completely different with his savings.
The very next day, Marty went to the school and informed Tesse that he had a huge surprise for her class. Ms. Ashton thought there would maybe be a fun party with pizzas, but she could not have been more wrong. Marty Burbank promised to use his life savings to send each of Tesse’s 26 students to college. He outlined in his pledge that he would pay for all four years of college tuition for each child, including their books. The estimated total is well over $1 million, but Marty knows it will be worth every penny because he feels it is just the right thing to do. He has single handedly changed the lives and futures of those children literally overnight. And the only return requirement he requests is an essay and hand drawn picture from each child yearly.
Marty served his country proudly in the U.S. Navy, and he continues his service to others through his generosity to Tesse Ashton’s kindergarten class. The children and their parents are supremely grateful for his gifts and kindness.