Dick DeVos, more popularly known as the Ex-CEO of Amway has spent a vast majority of his wealth funding educational organizations and grassroots movements.
DeVos, together with his wife and current Secretary of Education of the United States, Betsy DeVos have made close to $139 million in contributions to charity over their lifetimes.
The couple spent $11.6 million in contributions to charity in 2015, double the figure spent in donations to campaigns over a span of five years as has been reported to the federal government, something the DeVos family is better known for.
This dynamic duo have been a part of a larger family initiative toward charity for a while now, with Dick’s father, Richard DeVos having donated $104 million in 2015, and consequently getting the family into the Forbes ‘America’s Top Givers’ list in the 24th position.
According to Forbes, the DeVos family has given $ 1.33 billion, a quarter of the total estimated fortune they own, to charity. Dick’s wife also has a family equally inclined toward and known for their charity and giving.
The DeVos couple donated over $3 million to education related causes, with made up 26% of their overall donations totally this year. Out of this, another 3% was given to groups supporting educational reform.
Among those who received donations from the couple in 2013 were the Ferris State University in Big Rapids, the Compass College of Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids, Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning getting, Potter’s House in Wyoming, Rehoboth Christian School and the West Michigan Aviation Academy.
The couple launched the first aviation-themed charter school, built on the Gerald R. Ford International Airport five years ago. They don’t just fund the school and it’s activities but use their network to pull in high-profile speakers such as George W. Bush, the former US president and astronauts from the Apollo mission.
Dick is clearly filled with pride when he talks of the graduating class of last year which got 15 pilots licensed. The focus of the school on STEM, robotics and aeronautical research and engineering attracts students from many walks of life who travel long distances to reach the institute, many of them falling under the economically disadvantaged category of which a good 40% come from minorities.
DeVos has held many financial positions in his long and illustrious career which include being Vice President of Amway’s operations and starting his own business titled ‘The Windquest Group’ among other ventures. He returned to Amway as President succeeding his dad in 1993.
He has also entered the political sector, having run for Governor of the state of Michigan in 2006, on a Republican ticket. Loved by many, Dick DeVos is truly an inspiration to all and among the most generous of wealthy people.