J.J. Watt’s relief fund for Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston has reached $20 million — 100 times more than the NFL star’s original goal.
More than 180,000 donations have been made, mostly for less than $100 each, since Watt started the fund Aug. 28 with a donation of $100,000 and a goal of raising $200,000, according to YouCaring, the company taking the donations.
The total also surged thanks to donations of $1 million from Tennesse Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk, $1 million from Walmart, $200,000 from Drake and $50,000 from NBA star Chris Paul.
“It’s such a testament to the people out there,’’ Watt, an all-pro defensive end for the Houston Texans, said Sunday when the total raised was at $17 million. “It’s such a testament to how much good there is in the world.’’
The total raised hit the $20 million mark at 1:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, and Watt already has been exploring how best to spend the money. On Sunday, Watt said he had talked to members of Team Rubicon and St. Bernard Project — organizations highly regarded for their natural disaster recovery work — and to people who were involved in Hurricane Katrina’s relief efforts.
“It’s been a pleasure and privilege to work with JJ Watt, his team and his foundation,” said YouCaring CEO Dan Saper. “But even though we’re looking at potentially the largest crowdfunding campaign of all time, it’s important to remember that this is just a drop in the bucket to the damage that was inflicted on the Houston area by Hurricane Harvey.”
“We will continue to support JJ and his fundraiser as best as we can – and continue to promote it and raise money for Harvey relief.”
“Learned from what they did right and learned from their mistakes,’’ Watt said. “And the biggest thing everybody keeps telling me is take your time and make sure you do it right. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
“I’m going to take my time, make sure that I work with local organizations. That we do it right here in the city so that money goes straight to the people here of Houston who need it the most.’’