J.J. Watt’s fund raiser


Photo provided by U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez

Hurricane Harvey, the devastating storm that struck Houston, has put the city down but not out. The relief efforts for the city have been astounding, and many people have done their part in one way or another to help those who are in need of it. One who has gone above the call to serve is star Houston Texans football player J.J. Watt.

He began a fundraiser deemed the “Houston Flood Relief Fund” with a beginning goal of  $200,000. The goal was broken five times over in only two days, when it reached $1,000,000. This was only a small fraction of what he would raise.

It seemed that every few days, a new goal was set as the donations continued to pour in. Some notable donors were rapper Drake, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, and famous talk show hostess Ellen DeGeneres, according to www.youcaring.com. Soon after the goal of one million was hit, it was raised to six million, then ten million. The more this fundraiser picked up steam, the more national attention it gained, and the more donations it received. It then began getting several donations of over one million dollars, with the largest of the bunch being an astounding five million dollars coming from Charles Butt, the CEO of H-E-B. Soon enough, the fundraiser had raised $20,000,000, and that was the final goal, but that did not mean that the donations had stopped.

The story broke national headlines when it hit $30,000,000, which shocked the public that someone, like an NFL player, could raise such an astounding amount. The fundraiser was closed on September 13 of 2017, with the final amount raised being a jaw-dropping $37,131,817, coming from 209,428 donors. The amount was over 185 times the amount that was originally the goal, and they finished with more donors than as many dollars were planned for the original goal.

Despite just raising money, Watt also got out and actually helped the workers move and deliver things to those in need, showing he is actually willing to work for a cause, not just be a public face for it.

This massive fundraiser is just able to show how much even a little influence on the public can have, and why a celebrities platform can be used for amazing things. The money raised from this will be an amazing help to those who are struggling with the aftermath of the devastating storm, and it is a good assumption to make that there are many people who would not be helped if this money was not raised.

“There are not enough words to thank you all for your generosity,” Watt said in a message on his fundraising page. “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.”