By Daniel Rapaport, si.com | Photo courtesy of the JJ Watt Foundation
J.J. Watt might be the best defensive player in the NFL, but literally nothing he has done or will do on the field can ever top what he's done for Houston after the city was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Watt launched a fund on YouCaring.com to raise money for victims of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 26 with an initial goal of $200,000. At the time, that seemed like a sizable yet attainable goal. In hindsight, perhaps Watt (and the rest of us) underestimated humanity's goodwill and willingness to help others in need.
Less than two weeks after Watt launched the fundraiser, the fund has surpassed $30 million in donations.
Watt, whose Texans open the NFL season on Sunday vs. the Jaguars, has posted videos throughout the process thanking donors and reassuring them that the money will go directly toward helping victims rather than covering administrative costs.
He has posted pictures of trucks loaded with supplies and volunteers on their way to providing aid.
This is what we'll be distributing today pic.twitter.com/YVyOC4jRaj— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) September 3, 2017
10 semi trucks.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) September 4, 2017
Countless incredible volunteers.
Just the beginning. pic.twitter.com/xmN40M4hFA
The fundraiser's progress has been accelerated by a few big-time donations from billionaires. Charles Butt, who owns the San Antonio-based supermarket chain H-E-B, donated $5 million, while Tennessee Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk donated $1 million.
A number of celebrities have contributed to the cause; new Houston Rocket Chris Paul raised $50,000, H-Town lover Drake put up $200,000 and on Tuesday night, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon announced that his program would donate $1 million.
You can donate to Watt’s efforts here.