SAN JOSE (KRON) — A Southern California billionaire has written a check for $5 million to help flood victims in San Jose.
The fund benefits the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Sacred Heart Community Service, and the Salvation Army.
Those organizations will issue funds for expenses like temporary accommodations, car repair and replacement furnishings to victims of the flood.
The philanthropist’s name is Kieu Hoang, who at 31 immigrated to California as a refugee at the end of the Vietnam War,. He is from Southern California with some ties to the San Jose area.
A native of Vietnam, Hoang made a fortune in the pharmaceutical business. He runs a bloodwork company based in Los Angeles.
Hoang founded Rare Antibody-Antigen Supply in 1980 and Shanghai RAAS Blood Products in 1992, according to his Facebook page.
He flew into San Jose Wednesday afternoon and held court with San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo and various other city and community leaders.
San Jose flood victims begin to clear aftermath
According to 7th District City Councilman Tam Nguyen, Hoang was first approached by a friend, Chieu Le, who owns the popular local Lee’s Sandwich chain.
Le suggested he put some donations boxes in his shops, but Hoang said that would take too long and suggested he just write a check instead.
But no one had any idea he was talking about a seven-figure sum, much less $5 million.
The mayor says local community donations have now surpassed $1 million, and he said that the total is now more than $6 million, including Hoang’s donation.
The mayor said the money will start going out later this week.
San Jose recovering from mass flood
Meanwhile, the recovery and re-entry efforts continue.
And there is also a new push for flood control efforts along Coyote Creek.
Before Hoang’s donation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation said the victim’s relief fund had just over $1 million, including $100,000 from the Silicon Valley Auto Dealers Association and $75,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
More than 400 households who were told to evacuate last week are still out of their homes, Mayor Sam Liccardo said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
About 600 households affected by the flood are considered to be in extreme financial need, especially those without insurance.
The city’s estimate that the flood caused $50 million in damage to private property and $23 million in damage to public property such as parks had not changed as of Tuesday afternoon.
About 80 percent of households in the heavily affected Rock Springs neighborhood are Vietnamese immigrants.
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