When we discuss the philanthropic work of billionaires in the 21st century we often hear about the large sums of money put into some of the most high profile charitable causes in the world. I recently read an interview with Dick DeVos’s wife Betsy who I was shocked to read had been involved in the education reform movement since before it was a fashionable campaign to take part in; reading in the Philanthropy Roundtable interview about Dick and Betsy DeVos becoming concerned about the schools of Michigan in the 1970s when their own children were of school age made me believe this is a cause the couple care about in a strong way. The fact that Dick DeVos became such a key figure in the education reform movement when it was in its infancy and classed as a radical group pushing for reform. Instead of simply throwing money at the issue Dick DeVos seems to have always been willing to get his own hands dirty and standing for election to the Michigan Board of Education in a bid to push forward with education reform policies in the early 1990s.
Dick DeVos has always appeared to me to be concerned with assisting as many people as possible in his local community in Grand Rapids, Michigan and in other areas of the U.S. DeVos has impressed me with the fact he has always appeared to be concerned with caring for the people of Grand Rapids and the surrounding area, which can be seen with the development of the West Michigan Air Alliance that was created because of a lack of air travel options in the area as reported by Wikipedia. Dick is just one of the members of the DeVos family who are concerned with developing philanthropic causes across Michigan, which includes large donations made by Dick DeVos to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.