Dale Schroeder, a simple carpenter from Iowa, saved $3 million and paid for 33 people to go to college. They all have scholarships. Schroeder worked for the same company for 67 years. A close friend of his said that this simple carpenter didn’t have much.
Only two pairs of jeans were Dale’s. One pair was worn to church, and the other to work. He drove around in a rusty Chevrolet truck, which showed how simple he really was. But it’s amazing that Dale saved up all that money and used it to help 33 people go to college.
In 2005, Schroeder died.
No one really knew that Dale, an ordinary carpenter, had saved up $3 million. No one thought he would do anything, but he saved all this money so he could help other people have a better life.
Dale’s family was poor, so he never got to go to college.
He’s never been married, and he doesn’t have any kids.
In 2005, just before Dale died, he talked to his lawyer friend, Steve Nielsen, about his life savings and what would happen to them.
Steve said, “He wanted to help kids like him who probably wouldn’t have been able to go to college without his gift.”
“I asked Dale, ‘How much are we going to talk about?’ He replied, “Oh, not quite $3 million.” I almost lost my balance.”
With the help of the scholarships he gave out, people who wanted to become teachers, doctors, or therapists saw that going to college was all they needed to reach their goals.
The fund ran out of money after 14 long years. The 33 people who got money from Dale call themselves “Dale’s Kids,” and they want to help other people.
Dave wanted that to happen.
The people who got scholarships from Dale recently got together around his old lunchbox to talk about how his help changed their lives.
And to think they never got to meet him!
“I grew up in a single-parent home with three older sisters, so paying for all four of us was never an option. It almost made me feel like I had no control, like, “I want to do this, I have this goal, but I can’t get there because of the money.” Kira Conrad said.
She always wanted to become a therapist, but her finances didn’t let her. She knew it was impossible.
She planned to tell everyone at her high school graduation party, including her friends and family, that she wouldn’t be able to go to college because of her financial situation.
Then Kira got a phone call that changed her whole life.
It was Steve, and he told her that Dale’s scholarship fund would pay for $80,000 of her college costs.
Kira started crying. It never occurred to her that a total stranger was helping her go to college so she could reach her goals. Except it did.