I happened across the most inspiring story from a few years back about a Surprise Millionaire from an impoverished background who spends his life helping others. It is the perfect example of someone who finds their true treasure in others rather than the balance in their bank account. If anyone has an update on this gentleman and what he is doing these days feel free to share below. Thanks!
Recently, I learned of Dorothy K. Merrill who left quite the surprise for the folks in her St. Paul Minnesota community of Woodbury. Not known to be particulary interested in the arts, Dorothy surprisingly became a significant donor (to the tune of $2 million ) toward the building of a community arts center in Woodbury. Dorothy, who passed away in 2009, was reported to be both frugal and a savy investor. These twin attributes set her apart from her peers.
Dorothy who was known to be a master seamstress, accomplished baker and skilled card player in her lifetime can now have philanthropist added to that list of accomplishments. And we have the privilege of adding another well-rounded, interesting and giving person to our Surprise Millionaire family.
This retired nurse with a big heart wowed her central Iowa community with very generous gifts disbursed to many area organizations. She left a gift of $130,165 to a local school district which was only a small portion of her wealth. She additionally, left substantial funds to a local Fire Department, a Senior Citizen Center and a local college . Her gifts were a true work of “heart” for her community.
I have had the pleasure of following Dave Ramsey and his organization for quite some time. Dave is well known for helping people get out of debt and also helping them to accumulate some wealth along the way. He uses financial concepts found in biblical scripture as well as plain common sense to help people reach their financial goals.
One of Dave’s most popular segments from his podcast/radio show is the “Millionaire Theme Hour” in which regular folks who are currently millionaires call in and explain how they reached this milestone. During one of these segments I was happy to hear from a lady who we would describe as a Surprise Millionaire. This particular lady related how she accumulated her wealth by living below her means and investing wisely. It is a rare chance to hear a Surprise Millionaire in their own words so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to introduce “Terry from Denver” to my readers. Enjoy!
We are often fond of saying here at The Surprise Millionaires that, “anyone can accumulate wealth”. I have observed this to be true time and time again even for people who live in the most humble of circumstances. That is why this gentleman and his story really touched me. The very fact that he was able to accumulate so much based on his meager income is completely amazing. However, it is nothing compared to the amazingness of his giving heart. This just goes to show that if you have a goal worth pursuing and the frugalness to live well below your means that anyone can truly accumulate wealth!