One year ago, we watched in shock as Hurricane Harvey pounded the Texas coast with wind speeds up to 150 miles per hour, and trillions of gallons of rain fell on Houston and the Gulf Coast regions. The neighborhood where Michael grew up and the coastal towns we both visited as children were among many devastated by the historic storm. For us, this was personal.
In the days that followed, we watched in awe as courageous first responders and citizens leapt to action – marshalling boat brigades to rescue trapped families, sheltering neighbors in homes, schools, and churches, creatively using social media to be sure no one was left behind.
In that same spirit, the Rebuild Texas Fund was set up just five days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall with an initial $36 million donation from our family foundation. The Rebuild Texas Fund was inspired by our belief that people would come together and contribute whatever resources they could to help families and communities rebuild their lives. This Texas-sized disaster called for a Texas-sized response. The response was swift and generous.
More than 33,000 donors gave directly to the Fund and tens of thousands supported benefit concerts and other major fundraising efforts for hurricane victims. We are honored that a total of $100 million was raised for the Rebuild Texas Fund to support this significant rebuilding mission. And most importantly, our team quickly got to work deploying needed cash and program support in impacted areas within just 45 days of the Fund’s launch.
From the very start of this important work, our goal was to come alongside Texas communities to help them rebuild after the devastation from the storm. We are proud to share this report about how Texas communities have worked together to do just this throughout the impacted areas.
Today, we are one year stronger, and we celebrate the countless accomplishments and heroic efforts of families and communities recovering from this historic disaster. We’re in it together, Texas.