Education, Faith, And The Arts Rise To The Top Of The Philanthropic Work Of Dick DeVos

A large number of us know the name Dick DeVos because of the many years he spent as the leader of the AmWay Group and because of the short, but successful period of time the Grand Rapids, Michigan resident spent as the President and CEO of the NBA’s Orlando Magic franchise. However, I have been impressed over recent years by the work of Dick himself and the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation in providing funding and support for various philanthropic causes and charitable groups; for myself, I was most impressed by the revelation that Dick and Betsy DeVos have provided charitable donations reaching over $139 million in the course of their lifetimes.


Just how does Dick DeVos divide his charitable giving over the course of a year; let’s begin with education, an area I feel I am not alone in already understanding Dick and Betsy DeVos have played a key role for a number of decades. In 2013 alone, Dick DeVos and his foundation provided over $3 million in support for education reform programs, and continued to back a number of groups supporting education reform across the nation. Education reform has always been a major part of the philanthropy of Dick and Betsy DeVos, but I was happy to read Dick has now looked to include his own children in the philanthropy the DeVos family continues to undertake that has led to a more diverse range of programs being backed by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. One area I believe is close to the heart of Dick DeVos is his financial backing of the Willow Creek faith based religious charity the Northwood University graduate believes can play a key role in returning the U.S. to traditional values and promoting various leadership qualities among the people of the nation.


There are many aspects of the philanthropic work of Dick DeVos to admire, and I believe their are too many to list here, but an area of financial support I believe may be smaller than other contributions but remains just as important to the family as a whole. The Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has been a major success in providing care for those children who are suffering with certain forms of cancer attending the hospital; Dick himself has provided a major level of financial support for the hospital in making sure top physicians and researchers are always employed on a full time basis to raise the success rate in battling some forms of brain cancers in children.


The Michael Zomber Story


Michael Zomber has a unique story that relates to a lot of people. Over the long term, there have been a lot of people incarcerated based on false evidence. Michael Zomber wanted to sell guns to another person. During the process, he was accused of wire fraud and convicted. However, the ruling was eventually overturned. This is a great story of human survival against all odds. His story is now part of many law schools’ curriculum.

Living in Jail

There are many people who have been wrongly convicted in the United States. One of the biggest issues with this is living in jail. The conditions of many jails around the country are less than stellar. People like Michael Zomber are able to tell their story after getting out. A lot of people have their eyes opened to the entire justice system based on the stories of people like Michael. This is a great example of the impact that one person’s story can make on the entire justice system.


Zomber was eventually exonerated. This is a great story of surviving a bad event in life. This story is now studied by thousands of law school students every year.  Now Michael is an author, and pledges on social media to continue is fight for peace in the world.