Critics will argue that Dick and Betsy DeVos make outsized donations towards political campaigns. That is far from the truth. What the critics fail to interrogate is the amount that the family channels towards philanthropy and charitable giving. According to the records that the family made public during the vetting process for Betsy DeVos, nearly $139 million from the family’s coffers has gone to charity over the course of their giving life. The U.S. Education Secretary was required by the vetting panel to explain through documentation how her family foundation had been operating, particularly following the accusation that it had funded Republican candidates with crazy money.
During the vetting process, it came out clearly that the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation had made only about $5 million towards campaign donations over the years between 2011 and 2015. As for philanthropic donations, on the other hand, records showed that the family foundation had donated almost $12 million for 2015 alone. Of these charitable contributions in 2015, the education sector received well close to a third of it. From the foundation website, it was clear that the Michigan couple had donated more than three and half million dollars towards bettering the education system in America’s public and charter schools.
In two different interviews with MLive and The Grand Rapids Press, Dick DeVos sought to shed some light as to why his family prioritizes education in their philanthropy. The billionaire businessman said that even though the education system is accepted by many, it has grown to become a civil rights problem. According to him, some American kids are barred from living the American dream by their parent’s financial status. He argued that it was wrong to condemn kids born of parents living in wrong ZIP codes to the poor quality of education. For that reason, Dick said that he would continue pushing for reforms in the education sector.
Different institutions receive different donation sizes going by their degree of need. Some institutions such as West Michigan Aviation Academy and Potter’s House in Wyoming received more than $300,000 in 2013 alone. Others such as Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning and Rehoboth Christian School benefited with $50,000 or less in the same year.
Dick DeVos is a billionaire businessman who was born to a billionaire family 62 years ago. He has been a senior executive at Amway Corporation since 1974 and has contributed immensely to its growth. One of his major accomplishments as a businessman was his acquisition of Orlando Magic in 1991.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/ to learn more.