JJ Watt has played for the Houston Texans for his entire seven-year career in the NFL. He has quickly established himself as one of the league’s best on and off the field. He has become the face of the Houston Texans for his incredible playing but also his charitable work. This year Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, the worst hurricane to hit the Gulf of Mexico since Katrina and the worst to ever hit Texas. JJ Watt immediately stepped up to the task of fundraising for relief efforts and did something incredible.
Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas on August 25th. On August 26th, the outer band of the storm began to pummel Houston with heavy rains, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes. The storm hovered over Houston for five days, dropping FIFTY inches of rain in some areas of the city and surrounding areas. Governor Greg Abbott called for over 30 counties along the coast to evacuate but not everybody was able to leave their homes. The country watched the heroics of brave everyday people brave the storm and take to their boats or trucks to save those caught in their homes.
On August 27th, the day after Harvey hit Houston, JJ Watt took to Twitter to start fundraising efforts for his city which was at the time being pummeled by the massive storm. Watt was evacuated to Dallas before the storm hit. He began a donation drive with the goal being $200,000. He kicked things off with a $100,000 donation personally. He reached the $200,000 goal in two hours. By the end of the day August 29th, the drive had reached $4.5 million. Athletes, celebrities, and even rival teams were donating huge sums of money. On August 30th, Ellen Degeneres announced on her show that she would be donating a million dollars. The drive nearly doubled that day alone. The drive kept reaching new heights. Every day, Watt took to Twitter to keep the donations coming and thanking the extremely generous people and organizations contributing to the relief effort. Watt eventually closed the donation drive to begin to focus the money towards the relief effort. By the end, his fundraising drive had raised $37 million! That is a huge step up from the original $200,000 goal. JJ Watt will forever be remembered for his efforts to help rebuild the city of Houston.