With political being a hot-button issue, many people are now scrutinizing even the basest donations to anyone that could be construed as a political party. Nobody knows this better than Dick and Betsy DeVos. Over the past several years, Dick DeVos and his wife have donated over $139 million to charities all over the United States, and they are coming under fire about the true nature of these donations. However, it is very clear that these donations were done simply out of the goodness of the hearts of a couple individuals just trying to make a difference in the world. Forbes has put the lifetime giving of the DeVos family at nearly $1.33 billion.
The highest contributions that the DeVos made last year were to education-based charities and those based on giving students and children a better future. DeVos believes that the current school system in the United States is not equipped to give all children a shot at the American Dream. He sees this as an actual civil rights problem in which the value your education has depends on where you live. This should not be the case. He also believes that the system should be overhauled to help teachers find a way to really succeed in their field and help every child reach their potential. In order to do this, he has donated over $3 million to education in the past year.
DeVos also helped to launch the first aviation themed charter school at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport as well. Students at this school focus on the STEM courses, as well as aeronautical engineering and other aviation classes. Nearly one-third of the students that attend the school are classified as being economically disadvantaged, and many of them are minorities. The graduation class for this school is much higher than the state average, and DeVos even has speakers ranging from past Presidents to actual astronauts come in to motivate students.
After education, it is clear that the arts and culture are also very important to the DeVos family. They donated about $2.4 million to arts in the past year, including the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. They believe that in order to truly have a better culture worldwide, it needs to be fostered through the arts.
Overall, the DeVos family has given a considerable amount of their hard-earned wealth to schools, families, and institutions that can make a difference in people’s lives. These donations need to be seen as what they really are: contributions to charities aimed at improving the lives of others.