Iowa man pays for 33 people to attend college

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AMES, Iowa (CNN) - An Iowa man offers a life-changing gift--not one, but 33 times.

The generosity of a single carpenter who lived in Ames has altered the future for people he has never met.

Four years ago, Kira Conrad was stuck.

"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.

So at her high school graduation party, she was preparing to break the news that college wasn't possible.

"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," she said.

But that's when her phone rang.

"I broke down into tears immediately."

The man on the other end dropped the name, Dale Schroeder.

"He was very quiet. Dale was shy," said Dale's friend Steve Nielsen.

This man Kira had never met grew up poor, never married and worked as a carpenter for 67 years at the same Des Moines business.

"He was that kind of a blue-collar, lunch pale kind of a guy. Went to work every day, worked really hard, was frugal like a lot of Iowans," Nielsen said.