Dick DeVos, husband of Betsy DeVos, has long been in the spotlight on business as well as philanthropy. A name like DeVos is popular these days, and likely to get noticed when discussions are hopping around donations. This entrepreneur-philanthropist from Michigan is heir to the founder of Amway, one of the largest network marketing companies in the world. As the son of Richard DeVos, Dick served as the CEO of the consumer goods distribution center for the company between the years of 1993 and 2002. As his experience continued to grow, so did his fortune. At one time, his father had a net worth of more than five billion, so it only made sense that philanthropic efforts would follow suit in his career.
Having run for Governor of Michigan, and his wife being involved in politics and education as well, it seemed fitting that Dick and his wife and children would become just as involved in the community and giving back as his father and mother did. Dick and his wife Betsy became co-chairs of the Education Freedom Fund in 1993, and their focus was to provide scholarships to children that were less fortunate. Dick and his wife believed that regardless of where a child lived, they should be able to get a high-quality education just like all other children. This is when the idea for school vouchers was taken to a whole new level, and parents in Michigan were now able to send their children to the school of their choice. Much of their giving extended from the Children’s Scholarship Fund. When giving had exceeded the $7.5 million mark, Dick and Betsy DeVos offered up a matching grant, with their foundation covering all administrative costs.
The giving didn’t stop there for the DeVos family, in fact it continued on an even larger scale with Kids First! Yes! campaign. This initiative was instrumental in kickstarting the campaign to make vouchers available to those who wanted to send their children to private school. At the time, nearly 70% of voters were opposed, disabling the campaign with no solid commitment behind the program. Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy DeVos, the current Secretary of Education have continued to remain active in supporting quality education as well as playing an active role in politics.