J.J. Watt was quick in helping organize relief efforts for Houston after Hurricane Harvey devastated the area. He wanted to raise $200,000, but in the end, the donations came to more than $37 million.
Here’s how it all happened.
On Aug. 27, Watt tweeted a video where he discussed the storm and the tragic damage it had caused in the metropolitan Houston area.
“It’s very difficult, not only because we have family and friends back there,” Watt said. “Some guys have young kids. Some guys have wives and families. But that’s our city. It’s very tough to watch your city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help.”
Watt decided the best way to combat this natural disaster was to start a fundraiser.
“So what I do want to do is, I want to start a fundraiser, because I know that these recovery efforts are going to be massive,” Watt said. “I know that there are going to be a whole bunch of people we need to help get back on their feet. I know there’s going to be a lot we need to do to help rebuild.”
Looking back, his initial goal of $200,000 seems small.
By Aug. 30, Watt had raised the goal so many times, he was shooting for $5 million, and surpassed that mark by Wednesday morning. He updated everybody with yet another video on Twitter to share the progress of the fundraiser.
A few hours later, he launched his goal to $10 million and promised the money would help not just Houston, but the surrounding areas affected as well:
The $10 million threshold was reached easily, as was $12 million, and eventually $15 million and $17 million. On Sept. 5, he announced that it reached $20 million.
The $20 million mark was incredible. The next morning, Watt received a $5 million check from HEB CEO Charles Butt. He also announced that he was just a couple of hundred thousand dollars short of $27 million, which he announced was reached nearly a half hour later.
As of Thursday night when the Texans faced the Bengals, Watt had raised over $33 million.
Watt’s fund received donations from Ellen DeGeneres, Titans owner Amy Adam Strunk, Chris Paul, Drake, Jimmy Fallon, and a pair of notable Patriots:
Tom Brady gave $100,000 and Bill Belichick $50,000 to J.J. Watt's Hurricane Harvey relief fund— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 20, 2017
Watt closed donations on Friday, Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. CT. The final total was $37,097,298.
The latest on Hurricane Harvey includes at least 60 flood-related deaths, with the Houston Police Department having rescued thousands in the devastation.
If you want to contribute, here are some other ways you can help.