What Would You Do With 10 Million Bucks? See What One Man Sacrificed To Do the Right Thing


“We’re gonna make a difference together. You and me Marty!” Robert Levin’s words stick in my heart and head as I write this. We just talked. My takeaway? Robert Levin is an amazing man!

This is a two part tale.

I reached out to Robert a year ago. He was retired at the time. He had just sold the family business, convinced he left it in good hands.

I asked for Robert’s help to furnish Nick and Margaret Ursta’s house. I hope you’ve followed their story here on Sparkt. The Urstas volunteered at Ground Zero after 9/11. Nick contracted mesothelioma from asbestos he inhaled at the site. We helped Nick rebuild a house that was his dream to leave behind for Margaret.

Nick and Margaret Ursta volunteered at Ground Zero. Nick contracted mesothelioma from his exposure to asbestos.

Three days before Nick Ursta died, Robert Levin helped fill the Ursta house with furniture. Robert sent me thousands of dollars in Levin Furniture gift certificates he was given when he sold the business. He sent me all of them! Blew me away.

Margaret Ursta with the furniture she chose just a few days before her husband Nick passed away.

Nick and Margaret Ursta cried. So did I. Robert’s kindness gave Nick the chance to spend his last days in the house he dreamed of, knowing that his wife Margaret would have a comfortable home when he was gone.

That’s generosity, right?

But you haven’t seen generosity until you hear the rest of this story. The company that bought Levin Furniture failed. In fact… they shut it down… left more than 1000 employees out of work… left nearly 700 customers who paid for furniture with no furniture.

Thanks to Robert Levin, many employees will keep their jobs, and all customers who purchased furniture will be made whole.

Robert couldn’t, wouldn’t allow it. So he got his company back… sent all employees a check to support them during this time, put ten million dollars in a special account to pay back all customers who lost money!

I’ve never, ever seen anyone or anything like it.

Robert could have walked away. He coulda bought a yacht… a mansion… an airplane. You name it. Instead he bought back a family name… a family business…and a place in the record books as one of the greatest ever!
“Marty. I had to do it. You’re no different!”

He’s different. A lot different. Yeah, most of us, OK, all of us, don’t have millions of dollars. But if we did would we do what Robert Levin did? He made a difference. He saved hundreds of jobs, supported the company’s emloyees during a tough time. He made sure people who spent their savings on furniture got what they paid for.

Kinda makes ya wanna buy a couch… maybe a chair… throw in a mattress.

Here at Sparkt we try to make a difference every day. Do you?

About Marty Griffin
Marty is a past recipient of three prestigious Regional Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and also won a Broadcast Achievement Award for an undercover story about Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the Best Talk Show Host in Pittsburgh in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Achievement in Radio Awards. Marty shakes things up weekdays 9 am to noon on KDKA Radio.

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