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Our Story

The Charles Butt Foundation exists to advance the commitment to philanthropy exhibited by Charles Butt in both his professional and personal life. His story is one of deep love for the State of Texas — its people, schools, and communities — and a love of service in search of a better future. And Charles’ story is now carried forward through our story.


Charles grew up in Texas, the grandson of H-E-B’s founder, Florence Butt, who, with just $60, started what was then a small grocery store.

The business of making lives better

Charles grew up in Texas, the grandson of H-E-B’s founder, Florence Butt, who, with just $60, started what was then a small grocery store.

Charles’ mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt, was a teacher and lifelong advocate for mental health and social justice. Charles grew up understanding the value of education as the doorway to opportunity. He also learned the importance of serving others as an essential priority for both business and life.

When Charles Butt took over the family business from his father in 1971, he wasn’t simply interested in growing H-E-B into one of the largest and most beloved Texas companies. He wanted to cultivate a culture built on care for people and communities.

Charles’ steadfast commitment to giving had its roots in his family’s sense of obligation to community. During the Great Depression, Charles’ parents dedicated 5% of the company’s pre-tax earnings to civic and philanthropic needs. This continues to this day at H-E-B and also through his personal philanthropy supporting charitable organizations and nonprofit causes ranging from disaster relief to environmental efforts to hunger relief and education.

The Charles Butt Foundation supports education, students, families, and their communities as part of his overall philanthropic work.

Letter from Charles