J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve have a few things in common. Both are professional athletes in Houston, and both have been recognized as the best at their respective positions in Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
Monday night, the pair added another honor to the list.
Announced live on the Jimmy Fallon show, the pair were named as the 2017 Sports Illustrated Sportspersons of the Year. The award, given annually, recognized Watt and Altuve for their spectacular work in helping aid the city of Houston's recovery after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
In Sports Illustrated's release, they explained Watt and Altuve's impact on the city of Houston. "The stories of these two athletes who care represent two very different paths, but they led to the same destination: #HoustonStrong. Congratulations to J.J. Watt and José Altuve, our 2017 Sportsperson of the Year honorees."
Watt, who began his online fundraiser via his YouCaring page with a goal of $200,000, raised over 37 million dollars to help assist those affected through Southeast Texas. The Texans star defensive end recently explained how the money he raised will help throughout the region.
“Throughout this decision-making process, what mattered to me most was ensuring that the entirety of the funds would be utilized here in Houston and the surrounding areas for those who were affected most by Hurricane Harvey,” Watt said in his press statement. “With that in mind, I went to work with nonprofit organizations who have boots on the ground here in Houston and the surrounding affected areas to put the best plan in place and I am very excited to share that with you today."
Since the fundraiser closed, Watt spent time researching various non-profit organizations that would most effectively help Harvey victims. In late October, he outlined his plans to distribute $30.15 million of the funds among four strategic partners – Americares, Feeding America, SBP and Save the Children – to be deployed over the course of the next 18-24 months to rebuild homes, restore child-care centers, provide food and address health needs of those affected most by Hurricane. The remaining $7 million is to be aside for distribution in 2018 as relief efforts evolve.
“While I understand the total recovery from Hurricane Harvey could require upwards of $200 billion, and this $37 million will not be able to help every single person as I so badly wish it could, I have made it my mission to ensure this money makes as large of an impact as possible,” Watt said.
You can see Fallon's announcement below.