The Forklift Philanthropist

Matel Dawson 2I recently became aware of a Surprise Millionaire who created quite a sensation a few years ago by the name of Matel “Matt” Dawson, Jr. more affectionately known around Detroit as the “forklift philanthropist”.

Born in Shreveport Louisiana, Mr. Dawson spent his formative years surviving the great depression and the inequality of that time.  He wasn’t able to go to high school as he had to work to help support his family, but that didn’t mean he was opposed to scholastics.

On the contrary, Mr. Dawson believed that education was a tremendous thing and wanted young people to pursue their dreams without the worry of financial strain.    This Detroit forklift operator who worked more than 60 years at his job gave a total of $1.25 million in scholarship money over his lifetime to deserving young people.   He lived frugally, invested wisely and was able to help many others in the process.  Another inspiring Surprise Millionaire story!

Most Inspiring Story Ever!

Those of you who have been following the Surprise Millionaires for a while know that I Gipson, Nelsonhave posted and reported on many inspiring and wonderful people.  But I have never been as moved as I was reading this man’s story.  A humble and consummate gentleman who lived his life quietly while serving and giving back to his community.  You can’t read this man’s story and not be inspired.

Who I Would Like To Be

Don Ryder - modernI came across an article about a quiet man in Baldwinsville New York who left an estate of $750,000 to local charities for the benefit of his community.  This man has become my new hero; not for the wealth he accumulated or what he left for charity (which are wonderful things), but for how he lived his life.

The article goes into a lot of detail about this gentleman’s life story but I believe it can best be summed up by this quote from a neighbor and friend:

 “He kept his place very, very neat.” said John Kerniski, Ryder’s friend and neighbor since Don Ryder - Servicethe early 1970s. “His house and storage barn were methodically organized. And he was always well-dressed and well-mannered. I think he took pride in being well-presented.”

And there it is; a man who took pride in his home and property treated people with respect and strove to be well-presented in everything he did.  If we all tried to live in this way I am sure that the world would be a much kinder and saner place!

He Makes Millions in Order to Give it Away

A 90-year-old self-made millionaire recently donated $750,000 to  SacraTschannenmento State University to assist with the building of a new sports facility.  In fact, Ernest Tschannen has donated millions to various charities over the years.  Although this would be an inspiring story in and of itself, it appears there is more.

According to Mr. Tschanne, he makes money or accumulates wealth with the express purpose of giving it away!  It has been his life’s work.  Now that is inspiring!