J.J. Watt, the Houston Texans' charismatic defensive end, has shown again in the wake of Hurricane Harvey what makes him popular with many National Football League fans, regardless of team allegiance. Watt announced on Thursday an online fundraiser he established raised more than $10 million - something Watt called "absolutely incredible".
Performing at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium last night, the British band debuted "Houston #1", a heartfelt one-off new song dedicated to the devastated city. Half of the amount is to be directed to the American Red Cross, while the other half would go to "local nonprofits focused on recovery and relief efforts in Texas in the coming days and weeks".
So many people visited Watt's website on YouCaring.com, the website crashed.
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Watt posted updates throughout the day on Tuesday as the donations continued to pour in.
And JJ Watt isn't the only athlete/celebrity that is using his massive social media following to inspire others to donate whatever they can. "And it just speaks to humanity, it speaks to the good in people", he said.
Maybe that commercial resonated so with people who saw it that they took Watt's plea seriously and got the ball rolling from $200,000 to more than $5 million from those who never saw it.
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Watt has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for those affected by the destructive path of Hurricane Harvey, which was later downgraded to a tropical storm.
The initial goal was smashed within hours, so Watt raised the goal to $500,000 and has kept raising the bar since. The Texans were on the road playing the New Orleans Saints on Saturday.
"We make it as easy as possible", said Connie Watt, J.J.'s mother and the vice president of the J.J. Watt Foundation. Some areas received more than 51.88 inches of rain. I think that's the beauty of the people in this country: When they see somebody going through a tough time they all rally around.
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Since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the Houston Texans weren't able to go back home. Afterwards, the Houston Flood Relief Fund surpassed its $10 million goal.