J.J. Watt, star of the NFL's Houston Texans, has raised more than $10 million for Tropical Storm Harvey victims in Houston in just days, and the numbers continue to climb.
Watt began the fundraiser on YouCaring.com Sunday with the intended goal of $1 million dollars. In a video on Twitter, Watt said it was tough to watch his city suffer and not do anything about it, so he began the fundraiser in an effort to help his fellow Houstonians.
Recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey will be massive.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 27, 2017
The fundraiser quickly took off, and each subsequent day, Watt raised the fundraising goal to greater and greater sums.
By Tuesday, Watt had raised $2 million dollars for Houstonians, but much more money was to flow into the fundraiser that day.
Owner of the NFL's Tennessee Titans — a Houston Texans rival — Amy Adams Strunk, donated $1 million to Watt's cause, putting the sum over $3 million.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 29, 2017
Watt made the announcement via Twitter that the fundraiser had hit $3.25 million, thanked donors, and set the new goal at $4 million.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 29, 2017
Before the day was over, Watt announced that the $4 million goal was met. The Houston Texan raised it to $5 million.
By Wednesday, Watt had hit a $6 million goal, and announced on Twitter that he was raising the new goal to $10 million.
In a Twitter video, Watt explained his plan on how he was going to use the money, including purchasing water, food, and cleaning supplies, and loading them into donated semi-trucks. Watt said he and his fellow teammates would set up distribution points around the affected areas in order to get these supplies directly to the people.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 30, 2017
The donations to Watt's page went into full gear that day, however. During her show, Ellen DeGeneres interviewed Watt live about his fundraiser. At the end of the interview, DeGeneres said she and Walmart had teamed up, and donated $1 million for Houston victims.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 31, 2017
After DeGeneres's show, the donations to Watt's page began to fly in quickly.
In fact, the donations came in so quickly that YouCaring.com began experiencing server issues. YouCaring CEO Dan Saper left a message on Watt's donation page notifying everyone that the company was working hard to ensure the site can keep up with the traffic.
"The response here has been surreal," Saper wrote. "Due to everyone’s overwhelming generosity and the amount of traffic going to this page, you may experience intermittent donation issues. Please bear with us, or check back in a few minutes if that’s happening to you. Our engineering team is working tirelessly to ensure uptime on the site!"
As of this writing, the donations have surpassed $10.6 million, with more than 100,000 donors, and the numbers are continuing to climb. Watt left another update video on his Twitter page thanking everyone for their donations. Watt added that the semi-trucks were already being filled up with everything from baby supplies, to generators.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 31, 2017
If you would like to donate to Watt's fundraiser, you can follow the link to his YouCaring.com page here.