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Written by on April 19, 2017
The charitable contributions of Dick DeVos have added up to $139 million over his lifetime, and that is not a small number. In fact, now he is lifting the veil over the millions that will form a part of his philanthropic giving. It will all be funneled through his foundation.
In 2015, the DeVoses had given away $11.6 million in charitable contributions through their Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.
For Dick and his wife Betsy, education remains a priority. They had allotted over $3 million to various educational causes in 2015. This was nearly 26 percent of the total charitable donations from them that year. In addition was another $357,000 as donations to groups supporting educational reform.
This kind of spending obviously reflects the priority of the family towards improving education. They feel that the current education system is not able to fulfill the American dream. It is turning into a civil rights issue now. This is because kids are not able to access this American dream based on the place they stay. They are not able to achieve the necessary education in order to fulfill the American dream.
Dick DeVos believes in providing choice to people. He says that the principle of one-size-fits-all kind of public education has failed. There has to be a better system so that the talented educators are able to reach out to every child.
Dick DeVos insists that the bulk of his donations are aimed towards helping people in a direct manner. His aim is only to serve people. He is supporting schools that are providing an environment of academic excellence, adult supervision, as well as accountability. These include schools like the Grand Rapids Christian Schools as well as Potter’s House.
Dick DeVos launched the first aviation-themed school five years back. This is a charter school that is located at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. He does much more than just giving donations here, which were to the tune of $315,000. This was in 2013. He has also donated the first plane to the school. With his connections, he makes the annual fundraiser for the school a gala. This helps to attract top speakers such as former Presidents as well as astronauts.
This school has students from seven of the surrounding counties. Nearly one-third of these students are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. 40 percent of the students belong to minorities. But the school has a high graduation rate.
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