Tech Billionaire Pledges $36 Million To Start Harvey Relief Charity

Texas natives Michael and Susan Dell are starting a new charity that aims to raise $100 million.

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of computer giant Dell Inc., said he and his wife Susan would donate $36 million from their foundation to help Texas recover from Harvey’s catastrophic flooding.

The donation ― the largest single contribution to a Harvey relief organization yet ― will found the Rebuild Texas Fund. Dell said the new organization would work with Texas-based OneStar Foundation to raise $100 million. 

“We’re heartbroken. Michael and I are both from Texas, and the street he grew up on is under water now,” Susan Dell, founder of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said in a statement Friday. “We want everyone to know that we are in this for the long haul to support families and communities – our neighbors in need.”

Celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Ellen DeGeneres and JJ Watts, have said they would donate to Harvey relief, but none so much as the Dells. President Donald Trump has promised to give $1 million.

The Dells said their foundation would give $18 million now, and an additional $18 million to match other donations to the Rebuild Texas Fund. All administrative costs will be paid by the Dell Foundation or the OneStar Foundation, meaning all Rebuild Texas Fund donations will be spent on storm recovery. 

“Over the past week we have seen Texans and Americans come together to assist in the relief and recovery efforts and I have no doubt that this generosity will extend to this fund,” Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was quoted as saying in the Dell statement. “I thank Michael and Susan Dell for their commitment to the state of Texas and to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

The Dells said the Rebuild Texas Fund has four core initiatives: health and housing, schools and child care, workforce and transportation, and capital for rebuilding small businesses.

The fund has secured partnerships with big corporate and charity names, including Walmart, Gerstner Family Foundation and Verizon. (Verizon owns Oath, HuffPost’s parent company.) 

Harvey has caused massive devastation in the last week, killing dozens, displacing thousands and destroying thousands of homes and businesses. Families are in desperate need of basic goods, such as food, diapers, and feminine hygiene products.



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