Man Used His Secret Fortune To Send 33 Strangers To College

July 25, 2019

A retired carpenter from Des Moines has helped send 33 kids to college since his death in 2005.

man sends 33 kids to college
Dale Schoeder

Dale Schroeder was described as a simple, humble man. He grew up poor and worked as a carpenter for the same company for 67 years.

"Went to work every day. Worked really hard. Was frugal," said Schroeder's good friend Steve Nielsen. "He had church jeans and work jeans."

No one had a clue that he had saved up a fortune.

Schroeder never married and had no living descendants, so before he died, he went to his lawyer with a plan for his money.

"He said, 'I never got the opportunity to go to college. So, I'd like to help kids go to college'," Nielsen told CBS News.

"Finally, I was curious and I said, 'How much are we talking about, Dale?' And he said, 'Oh, just shy of $3 million.' I nearly fell out of my chair," Nielsen recalled.

 

Schroeder left specific instructions for his money: send small town Iowa kids to college.

"He wanted to help kids that were like him, that probably would have an opportunity to go to college but for his gift," Nielsen said.

Schroeder ended up paying for 33 strangers' college tuitions.

The group, who has dubbed themselves "Dale's kids," got together earlier this month to honor the man who changed their lives. They're now doctors, teachers, therapists — and friends.

Watch the video below.

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