Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt started his fundraising effort for those affected by Hurricane Harvey as a modest attempt at raising funds; little did he know when he started it that the efforts would balloon all the way to $37 million, which is the final number Watt’s website released, with over 200,000 separate donations contributing to the effort.
Watt began with the thought of raising $200,000 for those affected in the area he has called home since turning pro. By the end, he obliterated that number, as he provided updates and new goals for fans and people in general to reach.
“There are not enough words to thank you all for your generosity,” said Watt in a statement. “If there is one thing that I have taken away from these last few weeks, it is the reassurance of how much good is out there in our world. When times are the toughest, humanity stands at its strongest and you have all helped to prove that emphatically.
“There are many places you could have donated your hard-earned money and I’m honored you have chosen to join this effort to support the people who were affected most by Hurricane Harvey. Please keep this spirit of helping one another alive. The world is a better place when we all take care of each other.”
Houston decided to host the team’s Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a game they would go on to lose. But the Texans quickly rebounded with a Week 2 win, which was punctuated by a tackle from Watt to end the game.