For any man, it is a struggle and consuming task to reach the summit of success. The question, however, changes when we reach there. After making it in life, do we go back to assist those we have left behind?
In the world of giving back through charity, Dick and Betsy DeVos are a classic example of people with the heart to change humanity. In their lifetime, through their Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, the couple has given over $139 million in charitable contributions.
The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation mainly focuses its attention on policy initiatives around education reforms and scholarships, health and human services, arts and culture, churches and leadership programs.
The attention on school reforms is driven by the desire to level the playing field for those who cannot afford quality education with those who can. In an interview with MLive, DeVos notes that “Kids growing up in the wrong ZIP codes were not able to access the American dream and achieve the education necessary to have a shot at the American dream.”
In healthcare, one of the most notable contributions was in 2006 where in Grand Rapids, they made a donation of $12.5 million towards the construction of a Children’s hospital that would cost $103 million.
He noted that in contributing towards its construction, “The children’s hospital now has allowed families to remain at home and for parents not have to take time off work to drive to Mayo (Clinic), or Chicago or Ann Arbor or wherever the case may be to receive care.”
But with all this and other numerous acts of giving, we can ask ourselves why to this man and his wife, giving back to charity is a big deal. You soon find out that the apple never falls too far from the tree.
Dick DeVos’ father, Rich DeVos who is also the co-founder of Amway has been known for a long time to be involved in philanthropy. Together with his children, Rich DeVos handed out $104 million in various charity donations. This according to Forbes made them number 24 in the list of “America’s Top Givers”.
On the other hand, Betsy DeVos is the daughter of the late Edgar Prince. Her father was a famous Industrialist from Holland who was also well known for his charitable giving. Her work has also seen her nominated as the U.S. Education Secretary.
With some critics pointing that the acts of charity are aimed at political mileage, Betsy DeVos is quick to point out that their interest is only in helping people directly. “These are not political organizations that are advocating or advancing any political agenda. They are trying to serve people,” She has been quoted saying.