Category: Philanthropy

Dick and Betsy DeVos changing institutions

When Dick DeVos was the CEO of his family’s Amway Corp company, a plan was proposed for the construction of the Grand Rapids multi-purpose sports and convention arena in the north of downtown. When Dick got wind of this, he decided to make calls to lobby against the proposed construction of the complex.

 

Dick feared that the area would be a repeat of what had happened in Detroit, after the construction of the Palace of Auburn and the Pontiac Silverdome that happened in the 1970s when the Pistons and Lions left the city.

 

Dick DeVos campaigned against the construction of the facility outside of the central business district to the point that he formed a Grand Action group. The Grand Action Group constituted of business leaders who spearheaded the construction of a couple of facilities which include the Michigan State University Medical School, the Grand Rapids City Market, the DeVos Performance Hall, the DeVos Place Convention Center, and the Van Andel Arena.

 

The efforts that Dick DeVos placed on this issue is not strange because Dick together with his wife have spent most of their lives trying to change policies and institutions. For instance, Dick was concerned about changing the fortunes of the Grand Rapid’s airport and he decided to have a meeting with the CEO with the idea of running nonstop flights outside the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

 

Later on, nonstop flights to Baltimore and Orlando were conducted and even extended to Michigan. After seeing profits coming in, there were direct flights to St. Louis, Denver Orlando, and Baltimore. Shortly after the increase in direct flights, Grand Rapids airport decided to implement upgrades that cost $45 million which involved the streamlining of the security check-in, construction of restaurants, business centers, and new restrooms.

 

Dick DeVos had a great vision for Ford’s airport, and his support for the aviation industry was evident when he was recognized and named as a member of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council.) His role would be to advise the senior management on spending, policy, regulatory issues and long-term planning.

 

Although Dick had his successes, Betsy DeVos also had her own impact on various fronts, and together, they created great impact on different levels. For instance, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation gave away $138.7 million to scholarships for private schools, education reform policies, churches, health and human services, arts and culture, and leadership programs.

 

The couple also donated $12.5 million in Grand Rapids to the construction of the $103 million Spectrum Health System at the children’s hospital. This system allowed families to be at ease because children could receive care from home instead of rushing through traffic to get to the hospital.

 

Apart from helping the growth of the Grand Rapid’s airport, Dick also founded an aviation charter high school. This was a good initiative because education reform has been a big initiative for the DeVos family.

 

Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.

The Journey of Success of Betsy Devos in Transforming Education Sector in the USA

Betsy DeVos is a famous lady behind the successful transformation of the education sector in the USA. Her productive contribution has been felt since she was appointed to the education docket by U.S president Donald Trump. She has been involved in instituting policies that were aimed at benefitting children. Her involvement in education for many decades has assisted many children from many families. Her forms in the education sector have been of great help to parents who have enrolled their children in various schools. Many children have been able to access high-quality education regardless of family background. All the children in the USA have been treated equally due to her efforts for advocating for reforms.

Betsy DeVos experience and skills are traced to 15 years of service that she provided at Grand Rapids. She also served at The Wind quest Group as the chairperson of the institution. The experience and the skills that she had obtained was the main reason why she was appointed to serve in various charitable organizations. Some of the organizations in which she served are Kids Hope USA and ArtPrize. She has a high academic qualification which enabled her to be successful in initiating transformations in the education sector. She attended Calvin College and pursued Bachelor of Arts degree.

Many children from less privileged families have benefited from his philanthropy work. The children received various sponsorship which has enabled them to attend their school of choice. She founded tax –credit scholarship which has made it possible for over 50000 students in Florida to receive a high-quality education from various institutions. The program has also benefited over one million children from Louisiana and Indiana to access education. The vouchers that she advocated for have led to many reforms in many learning institutions. She has formed a committee which ensures that the goals of the charter school system are achieved.

Betsy DeVos has supported financially many nonprofit groups to enable them to carry out their operations efficiently. She gave $100,000 to Alliance for School Choice to improve their service delivery. Institute for Justice which is an organization which specializes in law received a donation of $10,000 from her. She donated $6,500 to Intercollegiate Studies. The institution is involved in championing for the viewpoints of conservatives. Various colleges and universities have benefited from her donation which is used to improve the learning process in the institutions. She donated $55,000 and $50,000 to Davenport University and Rollins College respectively. Some of the Christian organizations have benefited from the contribution. For instance, Boy Scouts of America was awarded $305,000 to improve their work.

Betsy DeVos is committed to ensuring that the education sector in the USA is transformed for the benefit of the every student. Her contributions will enable many children to access high-quality education.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.betsydevos.com/.

 

James Larkin’s Struggles to Protect All Workers

On January 21, 1876, James Larkin was born in Liverpool, to Irish parents. His family was poor and lived in the slums of Liverpool; therefore, he had little education. Read more: The Definite Biography of Big Jim Larkin

To survive, James did various manual jobs. After some time, he became the supervisor at the Liverpool docks. James, who was a socialist, dedicated to getting fairer working conditions for the employees. Eventually, he joined the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL).

In 1907, James Larkin was moved to Dublin because the NUDL did not support his strike action plan. Later in Dublin, he founded Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU). James had envisioned a union that would work for the welfare of all Irish industrial workers.

In 1912, James Larkin together with James Connolly formed the Irish Labor party. The party held a series of worker strikes, the most famous one being the Dublin Lockout of 1913.

During the Dublin lockout, James led over 100000 workers on strike for over seven months. The result of this strike was that they were given the right to fair employment.

James Larkin had decided to use sympathetic strikes and boycotting of goods instead of violence against the firms to get his point across. James wanted to build a mass trade union, and he knew that he would not be able to achieve his goal if he went about destroying his member’s firms.

This strategic method was able to get Larkin Support from many people including Patrick Pearse, William Butler Yeats, and Constance Markievicz just to name but a few.

At the onset of the First World War, James called out to his Irish brethren not to participate in the war. In 1914, Larkin went to America for a lecture tour and to seek funds that would help in his fight against the British. He joined the Socialist Party of America.

The Easter Rising took place in Ireland from 1916 when Larkin was in America. James Connolly who had helped form the Irish Labor Party died during the Easter Rising in 1918. As a sign of respect to his friend, Larkin founded the James Connolly Socialist Club in New York. This, later on, became the base of all left-wing operations.

James was convicted for criminal anarchy in 1920 and was deported back to Ireland in 1924. He continued to fight for all workers’ rights until he died on 30th January 1947.