Carpenter Who Lived A Frugal Life Helped 33 Kids Attend College Debt-Free

Jun 17, 2022 by apost team

Once in a while, a story of immense generosity and kindness makes a major difference in our lives when we read it. In a world where money is the be-all and end-all for most of the population, it is not easy to come across stories about people giving their fortunes away to better others' lives. 

Naturally, there is charity and philanthropy that makes a difference, but the lives of the rich and of celebrities are well known. On one level, it is almost a rite of passage that the famous and wealthy people give money away; either because they believe in a cause, or because they can receive tax benefits among other reasons. 

Very rarely do we hear about people who lived a simple life with very little spending who end up donating a large amount of wealth, but Dale Schroeder is this rare person who has left a beautiful mark on this world. 

According to news outlets, Dale Schroeder lived a frugal life. When he died in 2005 at the age of 86, his only possessions were two pairs of jeans and a rugged old truck. Working at the same company for 67 years, Dale never married or had children, leaving this world unmourned by a loving wife or grateful children. But Dale left a gift behind that changed the lives of dozens of people forever.

“He was that kind of a blue-collar, lunch pail kind of a guy,” Steve Nielsen, a friend, told KCCI. “[He] went to work every day, worked really hard, was frugal like a lot of Iowans.”

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Thanks to his amazing budgeting, Dale had amassed an impressive fortune of $3 million. Rather than spending it on himself, Dale made it his mission to use the money he earned to improve the lives of others.

Coming from a poor family, Dale never got to go to college. As such, upon his death, Dale willed that all of his $3 million fortune be used to help kids in small towns in Iowa go to college. Steve Nielsen, his friend, described Dale to KCCI News as a simple man whose gift was intended to help kids like him who couldn’t seek higher education without outside help.

In total, Dale helped 33 people go to college and achieve their dreams. Kira Conrad was one person helped by Dale’s amazing act of generosity. Speaking to CNN, Kira said that she always wanted to be a therapist, but that the prospects of achieving her dream were limited as she comes from a single-parent family and had three other siblings.

When Kira found out that Dale’s gift had paid for her $80,000 tuition, she became emotional. "I broke down into tears immediately," she said to CNN.

To commemorate the 14th anniversary of Dale’s death and to show how much they appreciated his generosity, the 33 people that Dale helped go to college held a special dinner in his honor in 2019. According to CNN, many recipients of Dale's generosity are now doctors, teachers, and therapists. 

Having never fathered any children of his own, Dale would be proud to know that all the people that he helped now call themselves “Dale’s kids.” While the graduates that Dale helped can never repay him for paying for the cost of their education, they vow to follow Dale’s example in making the world a better place and paying it forward.

What do you think of this story? We know that not all heroes wear capes but isn't it amazing how a humble, unassuming man like Dale used all his life savings to pay for the college education of 33 people? Tell us what you think, and be sure to pass this story onto your friends and family as well. 

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