Houston is home to many billionaires and even more millionaires.
But very few of them are as passionate about giving away their fortune as David Weekley. Together with his wife Bonnie, this Houston resident has pledged to give away most of his fortune while still alive.
Let's take a look at David's story.
The Houston millionaire who is promising to give away his fortune
David Weekley met Bonnie at Memorial High School in Houston. High school sweethearts, they have been married for 45 years and have three children and seven grandchildren.
Many of you will recognize the name from David Weekley Homes, the home building company that David started in Houston in 1976 when he was just 23 years old. The company is now the largest private homebuilder in the United States and has been named to FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list 15 times. In 2020, they closed their 100,000th home.
David was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2018.
Despite his vast wealth, Weekley prefers to focus on his philanthropy.
In 1990, David established the David Weekley Family Foundation to get philanthropically engaged in his local community, which initially was just in Houston. The foundation now supports projects across Texas.
Weekley dedicates 50 percent of his income to philanthropy and has embraced the "giving while living" model by signing the Giving Pledge, which Bill Gates and Warren Buffett started.
"Many consider philanthropy “soft” or secondary, and yet the same qualities that have made our business such a source of personal fulfillment are found daily in our philanthropic pursuits as well – the ability to walk alongside incredibly high potential people as they strive to make a profound impact on our world."
Some of his donations include:
- Over $2 million to churches, primarily in Texas
- $600,000 to the College of Biblical Studies-Houston plus grants to Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Houston.
- Millions to the Homebuilding Industry Foundation, Houston Food Bank, and Greater Houston Community Foundation.
- More recent donations include the United Way of Greater Houston, Ronald McDonald House of Houston, LifeHouse of Houston, and the Boy Scouts of America.
Weekley has enjoyed helping out local organizations in Houston.
"When you start working in your own community, there are a lot of positives. You’ve already got relationships... I myself focused on those kinds of things in the first 10 years of my giving."
Readers, what do you think of David Weekley's story? Are there any specific organizations in Houston you think he should support?
Please leave your comments below.