Money & Policy

Grandson Pays Off His Grandparents’ Mortgage

Making good on a promise he made in second grade

When Stefun Darts, now 24, was in second grade, he made a promise: One day, he’d pay off his grandparents’ mortgage. On March 20, 2016, he did. (See the video of the special moment below.)

Darts, whose heart seems to be as big as Texas, where he lives, gathered his extended family together in the Houston home of his grandparents, Cecil and Marilyn Roberts. He then presented the couple with a $15,000 check so that they could retire their mortgage and retire from work. It was the first check he had ever written.

The Robertses had been making their home payments for 20 years, with another four years to go.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Marilyn Roberts told KHOU. “To have a grandson like that is a blessing.”

Darts, a full-time student at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, and founder of the mentoring nonprofit, Caring Heart Youth Foundation, wrote on his Facebook page:

I promised God in the second grade I would pay off you guys house and help you retire….I couldn’t stand you going to work at night… Even with this, I could never repay you for what you’ve done for me.

Darts, a Houston native, scrounged up the money for his grandparents by doing odd jobs — from answering phones for a customer service company to working as a restaurant cook — not going out with friends and by “eating pizza, microwave pizza all my life,” he told KHOU.

“It was a dream to see them happy,” Darts said.

As you might expect, the whole family teared up, with laughter and hugs all around. “The surprise on my parents’ faces was unbelievable,” said Darts’s uncle, Travelle Roberts.

Darts’s mother, Stefanie Wyatt, said helping others “is second nature” for her son.

Oh, there’s one more thing: “I got you a trip to the Bahamas, too,” Darts told his grandparents.

Talk about a caring heart.

Watch the video below.

RIchard Eisenberg, editor at Next Avenue wearing a suit jacket in front of a teal background.
By Richard Eisenberg
Richard Eisenberg is the Senior Web Editor of the Money & Security and Work & Purpose channels of Next Avenue and Managing Editor for the site. He is the author of How to Avoid a Mid-Life Financial Crisis and has been a personal finance editor at Money, Yahoo, Good Housekeeping, and CBS MoneyWatch. Follow him on Twitter.

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