Two months after launching his Hurricane Harvey relief fund, J.J. Watt unveiled big plans for the $37 million he raised with the help of over 200,000 donors from all over the world.
"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. On Thursday, 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.
Watt began his online fundraiser via his YouCaring page, with a goal of raising $200,000. Watt donated the first $100,000 himself, but within hours exceeded his original goal. In three weeks, the three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year raised a staggering $37 million.
Texans players and their families spent Sunday distributing 10 semi trucks worth of supplies across the greater Houston area to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey.