- USA Today Sports
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is starting a fundraiser to raise money for the city of Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
In a video posted to Instagram, Watt talked about how it was hard to watch the storm unfold on the news in the city he loves. “It’s very difficult not only because we have family and friends back there – some guys have young kids, some guys have wives and families – but that’s our city,” Watt said. “It’s very tough to watch your city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help. Not be there to help with the recovery, not be there to help with the process, it’s very tough.”
To help the cause, Watt has set up an online fundraiser with an initial goal of $200,000 that will go to help the city rebuild.
Hurricane Harvey has taken a catastrophic toll on our great city, while leaving many stranded and in need of assistance. We must come together and collectively help rebuild the aspects of our community members lives that were damaged or lost. Any donation that you can spare, no matter how large or small, is greatly appreciated. We will come out of this stronger than ever. We are Texans.
His fans and those concerned for people affected by the storm immediately jumped in to help, raising the $200,000 in the first two hours of the campaign. Watt tweeted out his thanks, and announced a new goal for the campaign. At the time of this writing, over $337,000 have been raised.
The initial 200k was raised in less than 2 hours.
I have now raised the goal to 500k.
Your support is phenomenal!https://t.co/SR6DmnNbyM
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 28, 2017
Speaking to the people of Houston at the end of his video, Watt said simply, “Stay safe. We’re thinking about you. We’re gonna come back, we’re gonna help you out.”
You can watch the video below.
It's extremely difficult to have to watch the events of Hurricane Harvey unfold on TV and not be able to get back to Houston to help with the recovery efforts. I've set up a fundraiser so that we can raise as much money as possible to help our communities and the families of our great city rebuild. Any donation that you can spare, no matter how large or small, no matter what city or state you live in, is greatly appreciated. We will come out of this stronger than ever. www.YouCaring.com/JJWatt #TexasForever
Watt is no stranger to charity, his J.J. Watt Foundation having raised over $3.3 million to date to support after-school athletic programs for middle school children.
The Texans are currently practicing in Dallas and have a preseason game on Thursday against the Cowboys. The game was scheduled to be held in Houston, but the Cowboys have offered to host if necessary, with a final decision eventually to be made by the league.