Philanthropy and Community: Dick DeVos Does it All

When it comes to entrepreneurs, it’s not often you meet someone like Dick DeVos. He is one of the few men who actually gives back as much as he could. And it’s something refreshing when taking the other people in his field of billionaires. He is a philanthropist at heart, having given well over a billion dollars in his life to various causes.


In 2013, he and his wife who are in charge of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation gave $90 million to various causes: social, church, health, community, women’s, animal, education, and arts. With so much giving, it’s a miracle they still have time to run their businesses but they find a way. Both Dick and Betsy say that education and helping people improve their lives are vital to their roles. They got fed up seeing how the public systems were failing the people of Michigan, especially Detroit.


For example, inner city crime had risen to a new all time high. So the duo paired up and created a program called Direct Action. It focused on bringing high profile people from government and the private sector into the fold to work together and find solutions to pressing problems facing Detroit. They were successful in revitalizing the downtown area and creating a new era of peace and prosperity.


Furthermore, Dick DeVos devotes his time to Choices for Children and Education Freedom Foundation. CfC focuses on letting parents choose where their children will attend education. Not all schools are created equal. Due to a voucher system, in which tax credits are used to reduce costs, parents can send their kids to charter schools that often score higher than public schools for certain issues.


The EFF focuses on helping kids apply for colleges and majors they want to do. This is improving the lives of those students in big ways. In addition, $7.5 million of DeVos’ own money was used to match funding to pay for scholarships so they could get their degrees. Later, some kids even got MBAs.


Education isn’t the only area DeVos is dedicated to. He also works to find people work and housing. One woman used his help to get off her feet and work to be able to pay for a home to live in. Others need more simple care like a hot meal and a driver’s license. No matter what is needed, Dick DeVos steps in to help.


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