Throughout his journey, “Tractor Dave” Wolfsen has come across countless people who willingly donate to his causes, despite a financial crisis that continues to plague the United States.
Wolfsen, aboard a 1937 Co-op tractor, is now in the final stretch of his Midwest ride to raise funds and awareness for the Foods Resource Bank (FRB) and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee’s Disaster Response Services (DRS).
When The Banner caught up with him on Tuesday, he had just arrived, as part of a six-tractor motorcade, at the Pizza Ranch in Edgerton, Minn., where more than 70 people showed up to hear his presentation. The Pizza Ranch donated a portion of its proceeds that evening to FRB and DRS.
Earlier in the week Wolfsen ran into the manager of the campground at which he was staying in Lake Benton, Minn. Wolfsen learned that the man’s daughter had been on dialysis for six years, awaiting a kidney after her first transplant was rejected. She now has a new kidney, but the family has been left with staggering medical expenses. Still, the man made a donation to FRB and DRS.
“We didn’t know what to say,” Wolfsen said. “You are just dumbfounded at that point. You just never know.”
In turn lanes and at stoplights, Wolfsen has had people jump out of their cars and hand him $20 or more. A few weeks ago, two men gave $100 each to Wolfsen as he refueled.
“I asked them why they did that,” Wolfsen said, “and one man said, ‘Well, we’re not rich people, but we always have $100 in our pockets for somebody or something we might want to buy. You told me what was happening and where the money might go. I am ready to help anybody if I know it’s going to help people.’ It just shakes you right backwards.”
After an event in Sioux Falls, Minn., Wolfsen was headed to Iowa. On Saturday a luncheon will follow afternoon Mass in Lohrville, Iowa, and on Sunday he will attend three morning Mass services at Holy Trinity Parish in Fort Dodge, Iowa, followed by a cake and coffee reception.