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J.J. Watt and Dozens of Others Help After Harvey

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The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Category 4 hurricane which swept through the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Texas, left many people voiceless and feeling utterly hopeless. While many areas were left destroyed and many people saw the course of their lives changed in an instance, it has been the response to the catastrophe which has truly revealed the good in humanity, and has given many people hope.

JJ Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, felt as though he had a responsibility to assist the city which had embraced him for the past six years. The Sunday following the touchdown of Harvey, JJ took to Twitter by tweeting that he had created a fundraiser to raise money and help the communities in Houston. His initial goal was $200,000, and he himself contributed $100,000 to the cause. Within 24 hours this goal was met, and he continued to encourage  people to keep donating. Before long, celebrities and businessmen began putting large amounts of money towards the cause. Jimmy Fallon gave $1 million dollars. Drake gave $200,000. Sums of $5 million were given to JJ’s fundraiser. Each time he set a goal, hardly a couple days went by before it was met. It seemed as though people would not stop giving. Watt officially closed donations this past Friday, but money was still added to that monstrous number every day until then. At the foundations closing, over $37 million dollars were put towards the hurricane relief.  JJ Watt orchestrated a future for Houston without even realizing that he had done so.

Even more so than creating a $37 million dollar fundraiser, JJ Watt set an example for all other athletes on how to use their platform for change. Dozens of other athletes gave their own donations out of pocket. Chris Paul gave $50, 000, Stephen Curry gave $118,000, and many others generously donated to help the city recuperate from the national disaster. At the end of the day, the devastation experienced in Houston cannot be undone, but thanks to Watt, other athletes, and good-hearted everyday people, the city now has the opportunity to bounce back and begin its journey to recovery.

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