More than $358 billion was given to charities across the country last year. More than $53 billion of that total was given by various American and International Foundations. Donating has become one of the most important things Americans can do to offset some of the discrepancies that exist in our Capitalistic society. In a sense, charitable giving is a hybrid form of socialism because it benefits society as a whole. Every charity and non-profit organization has a mission statement, and most of them include the word change. Charitable giving is about change: A change in the status quo and a change in a system that has a number of social holes in it.
Trying to fill those social holes isn’t easy, but men like Dick DeVos make it look easy. DeVos uses hard work, forward thinking, a belief in a higher power, and the ability to realize that we all go through challenges, but some people go through more than others. Dick and his wife of 30 years, Betsy, started the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989 to fill some of those social holes, and they have done an excellent job. Dick and Betsy are passionate about education, the Arts, Justice, Leadership and the Community.
Both Betsy and Dick are also involved with The Windquest Group. The Windquest Group is a Michigan-based investment management firm. The company has several projects in progress in the technology, manufacturing, and non-profit industries. Dick is also known as the man that led Amway to more than a billion dollars in sales.DeVos played an important role in developing Amway’s international business.
But Dick has worn several hats through the years. Some people still remember him as a politician that run for governor in 2006. Other people know him as a pilot and an award-winning sailor. Sports fans know him as the former President of the Orlando Magic or as a stakeholder of the Chicago Cubs. But others know him as the founder of Michigan’s Education Freedom Fund. You can see his entire work history including the multiple boards he works on by viwing his LinkedIn or by viewing his Wikipedia page.
DeVos has devoted his life to helping others, and a recent article in BizJournals.com confirms the fact that DeVos and his foundation will never stop making a difference. The family foundation donated more than a million dollars to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
When all is said and done, the measure of a human life is not the amount of money in the bank or the celebrity status achieved in certain vocations. The real measure of a human life is giving without conditions. Learning to give without an agenda is a challenge we all face, and DeVos has conquered that challenge. Don’t take my word for it though, listen to these young entrepreneurs say their thanks for the generosity of DeVos.