George and Cynthia Mitchell always considered the eclectic seaside town of Galveston Island, where George grew up and where they had lived together just after their marriage, a second home.
The couple served as leaders in the transformation of Galveston’s once neglected downtown area into the nationally acclaimed Strand National Historic Landmark District.
In 2008, George directed a massive cleanup and restoration of downtown Galveston and beachfront areas immediately following the devastation of Hurricane Ike. Initial estimates put the cost of disaster relief, cleanup and building renovation at more than $30 million.
With more than $125 million invested through Mitchell Historic Properties, the holdings total over 300,000 square feet of commercial space, loft apartments, and three hotels, mostly within the Strand National Historic Landmark District.
The foundation is undergoing a transition and is in the midst of a vigorous planning process that will span the next few years. While the foundation does not currently have a grantmaking program specifically focused on Galveston, we anticipate launching a strategic initiative targeting poverty alleviation through education in Galveston in 2019. Although details of this program are yet to be finalized, the foundation intends to make Galveston a priority.