Believe it or not, Grand Rapids was not always the wonderful place that it is today. This is not to say that it was a terrible place to live, but it was just different. However, it has always been the home of Betsy and Dick DeVos, and they wanted to make sure that this place remained as special as it possibly could.
Back in 1991 the couple saw that Grand Rapids wanted to build in a multi-sports facility that would feature any number of activities held within it. The downside to this as the DeVos family saw it was that it could end up like similar facilities before it in places like Detroit. They thought that at the end of the day it could mean more issues for their hometown. That is why Dick DeVos immediately started to dial up those that he knew in order to try to lobby against the idea.
A lot of people will pick up the phone call when Dick Devos calls saying that he wants something done. This is because he is a billionaire. A lot of people want to hear him out, and they all know of his influence in politics and business in general. As it happened, Dick and Betsy DeVos would win on this issue and the multi-sports facility would not be built in Grand Rapids. Instead, the couple donated money to have several other buildings put up in Grand Rapids that they felt were a better fit for their city.
The lessons that they learned from what happened with the sports facility were things that stuck with them for a very long time. They started to realize that if they could win on something like that, then there was almost nothing that they could not win on. They have continued to fight for the causes that they believe in.
Charter schools have been a big issue for the couple to fight for. Betsy DeVos in particular has been known to pursue this particular issue. Given that she is now the Secretary of Education, it is a lot easier for her to make changes to the system that directly go towards making charter schools a greater likelihood in all different parts of the country.
Dick DeVos continues to work on the particular projects that he finds to be worthwhile and of interest to him. He also continues to donate a lot of his wealth to worthwhile causes. That is something important to note as a lot of people are under the false impression that these two keep their funds to themselves. That is not the case.
The people of Grand Rapids have had plenty of experiences with the DeVos family and the generous nature that they have in general. They can tell you for a fact that these two always share the wealth as it were so long as the cause with which they are sharing it is a worthwhile one in their own estimation. At the same time, expect them to get into a dogfight if they have to for a cause they believe in.
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