Dick and Betsy DeVos rank as one America’s most generous political contributors. The couple has dished out millions in support of the American Tea Party over the decades. Their donations have been criticized and vilified by the mainstream media and by the Democrats.
Recently, the Washington power couple stunned the world with the announcement that they’d spent around $140M on charity and philanthropy in their lifetimes. Those revelations emerged during the vetting process to confirm Betsy DeVos as the 11th U.S Secretary of Education.
Betsy’s Foundation gave $12 million to support the pro-choice school’s movement in 2015 alone. That amount dwarfs the estimated $5.3 million pledged to political courses around the country. The DeVos family’s net worth is $5.2B, according to Forbes Magazine. The joint lifetime charity donations by the West Michigan family stands at an incredible $1.3B, Forbes adds.
Education Comes First
Judging by the past and present donations, Dick, and the wife have ranked education above all else. In 2015, close to thirty percent of all their contributions went towards supporting the pro-choice school movement agenda. That money is meant to transform the ailing American Education Sector.
Dick DeVos and his family have repeatedly stated that they only offer financial support to learning institutions that demonstrate accountability, maturity and a passion for reforming the education system. Dick founded the nation’s premier aviation charter school in West Michigan. The billionaire investor donated the first plane to the students. He also signed checks to get the Academy up and running.
Arts & Culture
The second biggest beneficiary of the DeVos millions was the Arts & Culture docket. 21% of all their donations went into promoting local artists and performers. The DeVoses are unique in that they involve their kids in the crucial decision-making processes.
Smokescreen or Political Witch-hunt?
Critics like Mark Brewer, a lawyer and a Democratic Party contributor, have termed the philanthropic actions by the DeVoses as a mere smokescreen. Mark argues that the couple uses the voucher programs agenda to shift attention from their exorbitant political donations.
Supporters of the pro-choice school movement created by Betsy and Dick, however, refute those claims. John Truscott, the family spokesperson, came out in open defense of the DeVoses and said that all their actions had been within the legal constraints.
About Dick DeVos
In 1993, Dick started his tenure as the President of his father’s tech-company, Amway. For the next decade, the philanthropist would play a vital role in transforming Amway into a global franchise with branches spread out in over 50 nations. In 1991, Mr. DeVos took over the affairs of the Orlando Magic basketball team. Dick has done a fantastic job in improving education, arts, and culture in his home town, Grand Rapids, Michigan.