Once upon a time a business owner in Grand Rapids met with Dick Devos who complimented him on that occasion. Dick Devos is the owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team and also a billionaire who hails from Grand Rapids Michigan. He told her that she looked like a million dollars on that day because he wanted her to donate that amount of money to a charity that he favored and she did because she shared his belief in giving back to people.
In Dick Devos’s social circle a person is measured by how much money you give to worthy causes. Dick Devos and his friends avoid the pompous attitude that is all too common nowadays where we measure people by the clothes the wear or the cars they drive because they are good people with strong values. Devos’s habit of giving has made him a great social influence amongst the wealthy people in the West Michigan area.
Dick DeVos began giving to charity decades ago when he was a young man. He recently totalled the amount that he has given and it impressively amounted to $1.2 billion. In the year 2014, the Devos family gave $94 million alone and this put them in Forbes Magazine’s list of Top 50 givers in America at 20th place. Dick Devos is not one to brag about his generosity and for years nobody knew exactly how much he has given. However, he decided to break with protocol this time because he hoped it would encourage others to find it in their hearts to be charitable as well.
Back in 2013, the Devos family gave away $90 million. 12 percent of that money went to arts and culture, 13 percent went to religious institutions, 27 percent went to health organizations, and 48 percent went to fund education. In total, the Devos family has five foundations through which it gives back to the world. There is one foundation for each of Dick Devos’s children and then a fifth one that he shares with his wife Helen.
DeVos knows that he cannot accomplish his mission of making the world a better place alone. He actively campaigns amongst his social circle to convince them to give charitably as well. To further this aim he also gives counseling to the heads of charitable organizations on how to attract more funding from the community. Through his efforts, Dick Devos has become a light to the Michigan community that continues to inspire others.