Dick and Betsy DeVos are not new names to any American. They are well known for their political contributions more so in support of Republican candidates. This has not been received well by some people who are quick to criticize them. However, the amount of political contributions is far below the amount they have contributed to charity work. The total amount issued for charity is estimated at $139 million in their lifetime.
Betsy DeVos is a nominee for the post of Education Secretary in the US. The couple is undergoing scrutiny as to the reason behind their contributions. It is due to this that the DeVos has decided to make it clear the reason behind their charitable activities that is channeled through their foundation.
The involvement of Betsy and Dick DeVos in the Republican politics is not something new, but it’s a continuation of the DeVos’ larger family. It has been involved significantly in the Republican politics over the past years. Rich DeVos, Dick’s father, and Amway co-founder set the pillar and background that they follow today. The family is well- known for contribution to the charity which accumulated to $104 million in 2015. This made them ranked 24th in 2015 by Forbes on the list of “America’s Recent Top Givers.” The DeVos family lifetime contribution stands at $1.33 billion.
The question one would ask is: “Why do the DeVos give out millions to charity?” This is an easy question, and the DeVos believe that what matters is not what you own or the lifestyle you live in, but the amount you give out to the less fortunate. Dick and Betsy Devos’ preference is education. Based on 2015, the percentage allocated to education was 26%. This amounted to $3 million. To add to that, they also supported institutions that promote education reforms with $357,000.
Dick Devos firmly believes that the current education system is not favorable to achieve the American mission. The reason is that some people are not able to acquire the appropriate education due to their locations. Dick Devos primary concern is to find a means that will make the teachers more efficient so that they can be of help to every child.In 2013, those who benefited from DeVos’ charity included: West Michigan Aviation Academy, Rehoboth Christian School, Ferris State University, Potter’s House, Compass College of Cinematic Arts, and Northwood University amongst others.
Critics such as Mark Brewer are quick to challenge these contributions and say that the charity contributions are aimed at driving away attention from political contributions. However, this is not the case, and DeVos insists that these contributions are to help people directly and not for their gain. The institutions funded by the DeVos have been successful, and an example is West Michigan Aviation Academy. Its last graduation led to licensed pilots under its name. Apart from education, DeVos also donate to leadership, health, civic education, and churches.