On Aug. 27, 2017, J.J. Watt sat in a chair in his Dallas hotel room and recorded a video on his phone. Little did he know that his plea for $100,000 – in addition to the $100,000 donated - to aid the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts would snowball into the world's largest crowd-sourced fundraiser in 10 days.
In a statement released on Monday, the three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year looked back at the past year and provided an update on how the outpouring of donations was used to help repair the devastation left in Harvey's wake.
"As I reflect on the events of Hurricane Harvey one year ago, the memories of destruction and devastation remain, but they are accompanied by memories of hope, selflessness and the beauty of the human spirit. The actions of professional first responders and everyday citizens alike were an inspiration to the world and a shining example of the inherent good that lies within us all."
Throughout the early phases of his Harvey relief efforts, Watt met with various organizations to select the eight non-profit partners who would assist in the allocation of funds. Those non-profits are: All Hands and Hearts, Americares, Boys & Girls Clubs, Baker Ripley, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children and SBP.
Watt outlined the distribution of funds in his statement as follows:
· The cleanup, repair and rebuilding of over 600 homes.
· The recovery and rebuilding of over 420 childcare centers and after-school programs, serving over 16,000 children.
· The distribution of over 26,000,000 meals to those affected.
· Physical and mental health services to over 6,500 individuals.
· Distribution of medicine to over 10,000 patients.
Watt also provided details of his plan for the next 12 months for Houston and surrounding areas, including continued home restoration and repair, assistance with both physical and mental health services and rebuilding youth areas such as Boys & Girls Clubs and more.
For his work in aiding Southeast Texas during one of the world's most devastating natural disasters, Watt was selected as the NFL's 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year and also named to TIME Magazine's TIME 100, a list of the top 100 most influential people in the world.
To read the full statement, click here.
The Texans invited two families from the United Way who were affected by Hurricane Harvey to watch practice and receive autographs from players.