Return to top Iowa Carpenter Spent His Secret Fortune Sending 33 Strangers To College

Iowa Carpenter Spent His Secret Fortune Sending 33 Strangers To College

By - 26th July 2019
carpenter kindness

College is expensive, we all know that. And the cost of college is rising. The average price in 2018-19 of a four-year course at a college in-state is honestly staggering. When taking into account tuition, fees, bed, and board, the average is over $20,000. Double that if you want to go out of state. It’s nearly $50,000 to attend a private college. Those costs make this carpenter’s generosity even more amazing.

Dale Schroeder worked at the same company for 67 years and made a healthy living. But, nobody knew about the secret fortune he was amassing from all his work. In 2005, he went to see his friend and lawyer Steve Nielsen. However, Dale gave Steve very specific instructions for what should happen to his money after he died.

carpenter kindness

“He wanted to help kids that were like him, that probably wouldn’t have an opportunity to go to college but for his gift,” said Nielsen. He described his late carpenter friend as a “blue-collar, lunch pail kind of guy.”

“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 explained.

carpenter kindness

Dale’s fortune was enough to send 33 Iowans to college. He insisted that the money goes to kids who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Kira Conard was one such kid.

“I grew up in a single-parent household and I had three older sisters, so paying for all four of us was never an option,” she said. Her dreams of being a therapist were nearly shattered by money woes. “[It] almost made me feel powerless. Like, I want to do this. I have this goal, but I can’t get there just because of the financial part.”

carpenter kindness

But, Dale’s money changed her life. “I broke down into tears immediately,” she said. “For a man that would never meet me, to give me basically a full ride to college, that’s incredible. That doesn’t happen.”

His kindness has helped Kira and 32 other kids go to college and come out debt-free. What a wonderful man. Let us know what you think of his kindness in the comments, and share with your family and friends. You can check out similar stories on Happiest, like this one about a high school quarterback’s heartbreaking story.