Dick DeVos is a famous businessman, politician and activist based in Michigan. He is largely recognized for his philanthropic causes which are channeled to different sectors including education, health, political activities as well as arts and culture. Recently, Dick DeVos’ family unveiled their lifetime donations which stand at about $139 million. His wife, Mrs. Betsy DeVos was named by U.S. President to serve as the country’s secretary of education. This was as a result of the critical role the couple has played in ensuring all children in the U.S. are offered equal opportunity to access the education they deserve. The largest percentage of this contribution has given priority to the education and other related projects.
In 2015, Mr. DeVos’ family donated approximately $11.6 million, according to information found on the couple’s foundation website. Dick DeVos is one of the members of the larger DeVos’ family that is recognized in the United States for its philanthropic activities. The family’s charitable contribution in 2015 was estimated to be $104 million. According to Forbes list of “America’s top Givers”, the family was position 24 in the entire country. Dick & Betsy have given priority to funding education projects and programs with the aim of improving the quality of education offered to American kids, especially those from low income generating families.
According to Dick DeVos, the current education system in the United States was not helping students fulfill their dreams. He cited instances where students from areas regarded as “wrong ZIP codes” failing to achieve their goals simply because they are not offered the quality of education required. He believes it has turned to a civil rights problem. Through their foundation, the couple has funded Great Lakes Education Foundation and the advocacy organization for charter school that was started by Dick and his wife. Dick’s family has been a longtime donor of Potter’s House and Grand Rapids Christian Schools in Michigan.
Dick DeVos’ Involved in Changing his Hometown
In 1991, Dick DeVos mobilized fellow businessmen from Grand Rapids to reject the proposed construction of a multi-purpose facility outside the city’s central business district. Through his initiatives, they were able to form Grand Action, a coalition of business executives who supported the establishment of several projects in the area including DeVos Convention Center, Grand Rapids City Market, Van Andel Arena, DeVos Performance Hall among others. These and other facilities are credited for transforming the skyline and economy of Grand Rapids.
The couple was also involved in funding Spectrum Health System, a children’s hospital named after Dick’s mum. Their donations target to impact directly the lives of people who are discriminated in one way or another because of their economic status in the society.