Michael Dell announced on Friday his pledge of $36 million to his Rebuild Texas Fund, with the hopes of raising $100 million. Dell will immediately donate $18 million to establish the fund and will then match every two dollars donated until midnight on Mondays via a text-to-donate campaign with an additional dollar.
Though the reason behind the specific amount of Dell’s donation, Jews have a tradition of giving gifts in multiples of 18, the gematria (numerological value) of chai (life).
“This disaster is personal to everyone who has roots in Texas,” Michael and Susan Dell said in a statement. “Both of us were born and raised in Texas, and the street Michael grew up on in Houston is under water now.”
— Michael Dell (@MichaelDell) September 1, 2017
Dell’s donation is the largest to date. Other corporate sources have contributed $113 million to disaster relief efforts as of Thursday, according to the most recent estimate from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Fifty-two companies have donated $1 million or more as of that time. Walmart pledged up to $20 million in cash, products and matching donations.Verizon contributed $10 million.