This week, Houston Texans star J.J. Watt announced that he ha raised $41.6 million with his foundation and has put all of those funds towards the rebuilding effort that has taken place in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, according to APNews.
“It’s incredible to see just the generosity of strangers and what it’s able to do and what it’s able to accomplish, and the fact that that’s just year one. We still have more to do and we still have a lot going on moving forward,” Watt said.
Watt says that the money has been used to rebuild over 600 homes, provide healthcare for more than 6,500 people and distribute over 26 million meals.
“As you look back on it, you really understand how incredible it really was and how thankful that I am for so many people to help out and to be willing to help out. I was going through some tough times myself the last two years, so I think that it really helped show me the good side of people and that I should have hope and … have positivity,” Watt said.
“Obviously, I wasn’t planning on being in such a wild situation from the start, but I had an incredible support team around me and I had tons of people help me out. We did loads and loads of research and we spent hours and hours doing the phone calls and the meetings and talking with everybody and gathering as much information as we could, so we could do it the right way. Because that’s the only thing that we wanted out of all of it — we wanted to do it the right way and make sure that we did proud to people who trusted us,” Watt added.
The project was praised by Houston coach Bill O’Brien, who said, “I don’t even know if words can describe that, what he’s meant to the city of Houston, everything that he’s done. He was hands-on with it. He’s been hands-on with how to distribute the money, where it goes, all those things. We have a great deal of respect for what he’s done, and I know the city does, too.”