Mayor's Office Press Release

Imelda Assistance Fund Announces Advisory Board and Grant Committee Members

October 25, 2019 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo established the Imelda Assistance Fund, in cooperation with the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF), for survivors following Tropical Storm Imelda. The fund has received $260,000 in donations, with an additional $250,000 in commitments.

The fund’s advisory board assembled for its first meeting Oct. 16 to discuss fundraising strategies, community needs assessments, and funding priorities. The advisory board is co-chaired by Winell Herron, H-E-B Group VP of Public Affairs, Diversity, & Environmental Affairs, and Lindsay Taylor Munoz, Greater Houston Partnership Director of Public Policy. The board includes six members appointed by Mayor Turner and six members appointed by County Judge Hidalgo and Harris County Commissioners Court.

“I am happy to share with the public that as compassionate donations are flowing in for this effort, the GHCF staff and our appointed volunteer leaders have gotten a running start on distributing resources to those who need it most, with some aid planned for disbursement by Thanksgiving,” Mayor Turner said. “This will be a responsible and accountable process as well, designed to verify needs and provide tailored assistance to the victims. More donations are needed as Houston shows that we all pull together in the aftermath of storm damage that, according to data gathered by FEMA and local non-profits, affected more than 8,000 households.”

“Survivors deserve to have every resource available and we will not stop fighting to help our communities make this recovery as quick and effective as possible,” said Judge Hidalgo. “I want to thank those who volunteered their time and expertise in making sure we secure the grant funds necessary to rebuild and recover.”

The advisory board and grants committee has launched an accelerated round of grant funding to address the immediate needs of home stabilization and emergency financial assistance.  The board and committee will work with the Greater Houston Community Foundation to develop the specific criteria and application process for future rounds of grant funding; which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Those appointed by the mayor are Winell Herron, Juliana Bihlet, Tom Combs, Derrick Mitchell, Lina Sabouni, and Michael Trevino.  Appointees of the county judge are Lindsay Taylor Munoz, Tanya Makany-Rivera, Tom S. Ramsey, Francisco Sanchez, Jan Sexton, and William Taylor.

The Greater Houston Community Foundation will share information about all grants publicly on its website and through other communications for complete transparency about the expenditure of funds. To learn more about the fund or to make a donation, please visit

About Greater Houston Community Foundation
Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF) is one of Houston’s largest grant makers and provides individuals, families, corporations, foundations, and advisors with the ability to reach beyond what they could have ever imagined to expand philanthropic impact. GHCF impacts the community and donors’ initiatives with the most comprehensive, aligned, and focused philanthropic resources, expertise, and platforms. Services include consulting and programming geared towards topics of interests, particularly for families, while continuing to offer our more traditional consulting services aimed at helping individuals and corporations manage their assets to maximize philanthropic capital and impact. GHCF is the go-to partner for many of the most high-profile philanthropic partnerships in the city.