Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, created a fundraiser to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey one year ago with the modest goal of raising $200,000. Now, Watt has announced that his goal was blown out of the water with a total of $41.6 million in donations.
According to the Houston Texans website, the fundraiser was the largest crowdsourced fundraiser in world history.
“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,” Watt said in a letter. “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.”
“I was fortunate enough to witness that generosity first hand, as the fundraiser that I started with a simple goal of $200,000 turned into an unbelievable outpouring of support from people all around the globe,” Watt added.
The Justin J. Watt Foundation reportedly distributed the funds to eight nonprofits: All Hands and Hearts, Americares, Boys & Girls Clubs, Baker Ripley, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, and SBP. The funds were reportedly used to repair and rebuilt over 600 homes and 420 childcare centers, distribute 26,000,000 meals, provide physical and mental health services to over 6,500 people, and distribute medicine to over 10,000 patients.
While a lot has been accomplished, Watt says the work is not done.
“While a great deal has been accomplished in the past 12 months, there is still much work to be done,” Watt said. “Moving forward, there will be more of the same, as we continue to work with our incredible nonprofit partners to provide as much help and support as we possibly can for those affected by Harvey.”
The foundation will reportedly continue restoring homes and Boys & Girls Clubs, continue giving support to handle the increase in demand on food banks and continue giving assistance for medical services.