We often hear much about the way philanthropists provide funding and their time to specific causes, but we rarely hear much about why these wealthy donors feel so strongly about a specific subject; I was, therefore, pleased to read about the reasons why Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy have devoted so much of their time to the education reform movement over the last three decades. Among the information I found in an interview with Betsy DeVos from Philanthropy Roundtable was that the couple first became interested in changing the education system in the U.S. when their own children were of school age and they visited the Potter’s House Christian School close to the DeVos family home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The chance to explore the reasons why Dick DeVos chose to stand for election to the Michigan Board of Education in the early 1990s when he was at the height of his business career; Dick DeVos understood the difficulties of many families in providing their children with the chance to get a high quality education and decided to devote much of his life to supporting the cause of education reform far from his own state of Michigan.
I believe there is much to admire in the life and work of Dick DeVos, which I believe shows us the values he hopes to live his own life by and pass on to those he influences through his philanthropic work. Among the projects Dick has taken the time to become personally involved in are the Acton Institute that is based in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Wikipedia page of Dick DeVos explains the Acton Institute think tank bases its work on the development of individual liberty and add traditional religious principles to the lives of the people of the world. The work Dick DeVos has begun with the Acton Institute has been continued with his work for the Willow Creek Association that is dedicated to bringing traditional American values back to the lives of the people of the U.S.