Mayor's Office Press Release
Immigrant Businessman Who Started in U.S. with $1.25 / hr. Job Makes $5 Million Gift to Houston Flood Relief Fund
September 11, 2017 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner today accepted a $5 million donation for flood relief from Southern California businessman Kieu Hoang, an immigrant billionaire from Vietnam whose first job in the U.S paid him $1.25 per hour. The money goes to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund founded by the mayor and county judge, and administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund, to directly aid local victims of the Hurricane Harvey flood.
“Mr. Hoang’s stunning generosity to a community far from his home is a beautiful demonstration of the American spirit that inspires us to reach across the miles to help our fellow citizens,” Mayor Turner said. “The fact that he started his new life in America at a basic level, and rose to prominence in the business world, is also a lesson for Houston as we bounce back from adversity.”
“Houston is the most diverse city in the nation, partly because of its influential Vietnamese-American community,” the mayor added. “We’d love it if Mr. Hoang were to relocate to Houston even though he would have to commute to the Northern California wine vineyards he owns!”
Hoang added, “I am here to thank the American people who allowed me to come to this country as a refugee in early 1975 at the age of 31. I am here to pay back, contribute and show my gratitude to this great country.”
His donation was accepted by the mayor at a news conference today in 500 block of Hallie Drive, one of many streets where west Houston homes were damaged.
To donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund or to see updated information on community resources, visit www.GHCF.org.