Imagine being told you could go to college for free thanks to a stranger's generosity. That's exactly what happened to 33 people after an Iowa man saved $3 Million to help put them through college.
According toABC 7:
Dale Schroeder was a simple man. He grew up poor. He never went to college. He never got married. He worked at the same business for 67 years.
"He was that kind of a blue-collar, lunch pail kind of a guy," Schroeder's friend Steve Nielsen said. "Went to work every day, worked really hard, was frugal like a lot of Iowans."
When Schroeder died in 2005, he did not have any descendants. What he did have was a pair of work jeans, a pair of church jeans, a rusty Chevrolet truck and a desire to help small town kids in Iowa go to college.
Over his nearly 70 years of carpentry work and frugal living, Schroeder had amassed nearly $3 million in savings.
Much of that money went into a scholarship fund and it helped 33 people go to college free of charge.
Those people got together 14 years after the death of a man they never met. They all gathered around Schroeder's old lunch box and talked about the difference he made in their lives.
Dale's Kids all finished college without debt, but there was one string attached.
"All we ask is that you pay it forward," Nielsen said. "You can't pay it back, because Dale's gone. But you can remember him and you can emulate him."