Austin billionaire Michael Dell and his wife, Susan, have pledged as much as $36 million to a new fund aiming to raise more than $100 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas.
Through their Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Dells have committed $18 million upfront to the Rebuild Texas Fund. They’ve promised another $18 million contribution to match $1 for every $2 raised by the fund from now through Labor Day.
In a Facebook post announcing the nationwide fundraising campaign, Michael, CEO of Dell Technologies, wrote: “In a week, the national spotlight will shine elsewhere, but for tens of thousands of Texans, the rebuilding will have just begun. This is our collective moment to help them.”
To donate to the Rebuild Texas Fund, visit www.rebuildtx.org or text “RebuildTX” to 91999.
Appearing Friday, September 1, on ABC’s Good Morning America, Susan, who chairs the Dell foundation, said: “We basically want to bring the power of private contributions to the recovery efforts that are happening. … What we want to do is inspire everybody to give as much as they can.”
Michael and Susan are both Texas natives. The Harvey tragedy has struck especially close to home for Michael, as he was born and raised in Houston. Southwest Houston’s Meyerland neighborhood, where he grew up, sustained heavy damage from Harvey-spawned flooding.
Michael, whose net worth is estimated at nearly $23 billion, founded the Round Rock tech company that bears his last name. Earlier this week, Dell Technologies pledged $500,000 to the American Red Cross and Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization staffed by military veterans. The company will match every $1 donated by employees up to $10,000 per person.
The Dells set up their Austin-based charitable foundation in 1999. Before Harvey, the foundation had contributed nearly $1.4 million to initiatives seeking to improve education and children’s health in Central Texas and around the world.
In May, the Dells committed another $1 billion to their foundation, with the money to be earmarked for support of global education and social entrepreneurship efforts.