Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana hard on August 25. It was the first major hurricane to hit the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The storm destroyed many people’s houses, businesses and lives. Many people were forced to leave their homes because of flooding.
As the people left their home and evacuated to shelters, sports arenas and religious centers the supplies for the people ran low. The Evacuees were limited to bottled water and other essentials as stores didn’t have enough due to loosing supplies from the floods.
Stepped in, JJ Watt defensive end for the Houston Texans, who started a relief fund in which he hoped to raise $200,000. Watt communicated with people through social media especially Twitter posting videos of updates and giving the people of Houston hope as they try to rebuild their city.
From here on Watt became the voice for Houston, asking people to help donate whatever they could to the relief fund. During the first video that Watt posted on Twitter on August 27th, he said:
“That is our city. It is hard to watch our city to get hit by a bad storm and not to be there to help.”
So Watt set a goal of $200,000 for his foundation which was quickly raised. In less than two hours they had reached their goal in which Watt raised his goal to $500,000 and continued to thank the people for their support.
Meanwhile the goal of $500,000 was reached within 24 hours and Watt raised the goal to $1 million. The support by people has been amazing and incredible to see people coming together for the greater good of humanity. His foundation continues to surpass its goal every day in which they have raised over $20 million for relief help.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) September 5, 2017
Watt has received donations from celebrities, NFL owners, NFL players, NHL players, MLB players, NBA players, WNBA, PGA, LPGA, NASCAR, Indy Car and even colleges. According to USA Today, about 77 different teams, organizations, players and owners have donated to the Watt foundation.
The donations have been outstanding and it shows that athletes care for the city that they play for and can rally people together. During a difficult time like this it is important for people to have a sense of hope and something to take their minds off this terrible event.
Watt has opened the door for athletes helping the people of Houston. The Dallas Cowboys worked the phones collecting money instead of playing their final preseason game. James Harden of the Houston Rockets donated $1 million dollars for relief funds and the Houston Astros are playing the rest of the season for the people of Houston.
Finally, JJ Watt has shown that people can come together and work to rebuild a community. Athletes in America have a powerful gift of being able to rally people together and help rebuild peoples’ homes and communities. Watt is doing an amazing thing for the people of Houston. He and his fellow teammates will be playing football starting September 10th and will be representing the city of Houston with pride as they all rebuild the community up together.