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A Kentucky janitor amassed a $175,000 estate—that he left to charity

Alvin Randlett
Courtesy of Covington Independent Public School District
Alvin Randlett

School janitor Alvin L. Randlett spent 32 years cleaning the halls of Sixth District Elementary in Covington, Kentucky. He also spent that time pinching pennies. He never touched a dime of his pension, saved over 300 sick days and never owned a car.

Randlett passed away in December 2015 at the age of 75, but it wasn't until this year that his lawyers revealed that the thrifty custodian left the bulk of his life savings, totaling $175,217.19, to the Kentucky Child Victims' Trust Fund (CVTF), which aims to protect children from abuse and support survivors.

According to Chris Mayhew of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Randlett was paid an hourly rate of just $3.70 — about $7,000 a year — when his career began in 1976. The donated funds came from his savings, his pension and the sale of his house.

"His service to the Sixth District School went beyond the basic duties of his job," reads a letter from his attorney Chad Seiter and estate executor Jeff Siska. "He became a supporter and advocate for the children he served, most of whom were underprivileged. Although a man of limited education, Mr. Randlett was both wise and generous in his heart."

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear addresses students at Sixth District Elementary as he accepts Randlett's gift.
Courtesy of Covington Independent Public School District
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear addresses students at Sixth District Elementary as he accepts Randlett's gift.

"It's the type of selflessness we don't see day in and day out," said Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear during a visit to Covington Independent School District to accept Randlett's gift on behalf of the CVTF. "Because of gifts like his and others, we can train more and more responsible adults to follow his example."

At the event, Siska said that this unique kind of selflessness and dedication to helping others was central to Randlett's character. During the Blizzard of 1978, Randlett stayed at the school overnight to shovel coal and ensure the school pipes wouldn't freeze.

"When someone would abuse a child — and he would see it occasionally at the school system at this level — it would disgust him," said Siska, according to a local Fox outlet. "It was Alvin's last wish to help with those who can't help themselves."

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