When a young athlete in his 20s, fresh out of college, gets handed more money than he's ever seen in his life, he often doesn't know what to do. He might blow every cent of his money on houses, cars, jewelry or partying.
Not Deshaun Watson. The Houston Texans rookie quarterback used the first game check of his career to change the lives of three women who worked for the franchise and who had been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
An unbelievable surprise
When the three women, who work in the cafeteria of NRG Stadium, came to work that day, they probably didn't expect to talk to the team's starting quarterback. And they definitely didn't expect him to show up and hand them each a check for thousands of dollars.
Watson walked in to the cafeteria, ribbon-wrapped envelopes in hand, and met the three employees, thanking them for their service to the organization.
"For what y'all do for us every day, and never complain, I really appreciate y'all," Watson said. "So I wanted to give my first game check to help y'all out some type of way.
"Hopefully, this helps to get you back on your feet," he said.
How much did he give?
Watson's salary as a rookie is $465,000 per year, and his per-game check is $27,353. So each of the employees received about $9,000 — no small amount of money for anyone struggling to recover from the devastating flooding of Hurricane Harvey.
"And anything else y'all need, I'm always here to help," Watson told them.
Understanding the power of charity
Watson's family was once the beneficiary of the charitable efforts of a professional athlete. While Watson, his mother Deann, and three siblings lived in a small apartment in Georgia, they learned about Habitat for Humanity.
Deann volunteered for more than 300 hours with the organization, helping to build new homes, before finally becoming the recipient of her own home through a program founded by former NFL running back Warrick Dunn through Habitat for Humanity.