The crowd erupted last Sunday at NRG Stadium in Houston when star defensive end JJ Watt was introduced. But the 70,000-plus fans were not on their feet because it was Watt’s first time on the field since week three of the 2016 season. Instead, the crowd rose to applaud Watt for his incredible fund raiser used to help rebuild his home city after the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.
Watt Takes Action
Hurricane Harvey touched down in Houston, Texas on August 25th. For the next few days, the storm wreaked havoc on the entire city. 50 people are believed to have lost their lives during the onslaught. It is now estimated that total damages could cost up to $180 billion to repair. With President Trump’s administration promising to donate $7.85 billion; it means there is a still a lot of funds needed for the region’s recovery. The city has a massive cleanup project ahead and its top athlete decided to step up in the aftermath.
The seventh-year DE from the Houston Texans set up a fund raiser on YouCaring.com. The initial goal of the fund raiser was to raise $200,000. When that goal was quickly reached, Watt decided to keep his charitable efforts going. Throughout the process, Watt gave fans daily updates on the fund-raising progress. He posted pictures and videos of supplies being sent to the Houston area. He also publicly thanked everyone for their donations via his Twitter account.
Just two weeks after his project began, the fund raiser has already surpassed $31 million in donations. The record amount has been raised thanks to citizens everywhere, including a few high-profile celebrities. Drake, Jimmy Fallon, and Chris Paul have made generous donations. San Antonio-based billionaire Charles Butt donated $5 million to Watt’s cause. And Tennessee Titans’ owner Amy Adams also gave $1 million of her own. JJ Watt was already an athletic icon within the city, but his charitable efforts have officially made him a hero.