J.J. Watt reveals how he plans to spend the $17M raised to help Houston recover
The Texans star says he's dedicated to fixing Houston over the long haul
The work that J.J. Watt is doing to help Houston residents recover from the horrific natural disaster that is Hurricane Harvey has become a dominant storyline in the sports media over the last week or so, and with good reason. Watt has helped raise more than $17 million for recovery, , cruising and heading into uncharted territory from a donation standpoint. (You can continue to donate at his YouCaring.com page here.)
Watt's work has caused other wealthy people to join the cause, including aand . But Watt isn't just bringing in money, he's also bringing in a bunch of supplies to help provide relief for those battling the difficult conditions in Houston.
On Sunday morning, Watt tweeted out a pretty incredible photo of a warehouse full of supplies to be delivered.
"As of today we're over $17.5 million and pushing towards $20 [million]," Watt announced on Sunday via James Palmer. "So I can't say thank you enough to the people around the world, the people of America, people of Texas. Showing their true colors, showing when there are difficult times, humans step up to help other humans. So I can't say thank you enough to them."
According to Watt over 150,000 people have donated to his You Caring page. Also according to Watt, the entire Texans team will be spending Sunday taking these supplies out to people who are in need and struggling with the aftermath of Harvey's destructive path.
"We're going to be helping out to distribute 10 semi trucks worth of goods. Water, food, clothing, cleaning supplies. We're going to make sure we get out into the areas that were hit hard," Watt explained. "We have four stations set up -- get directly into the city, directly to the people who need help, hand out these goods, because the most immediate needs are the ones we're trying to take care of today."
But wait, there's more: this is just "Phase One" according to Watt. In fact, Watt said on Sunday the group helping in Houston "haven't even spent a single cent" of the $17 million they have raised through the You Caring page.
He then detailed how he planned on spending the money -- noting that he wants to be patient with the distribution of funds and that he also plans to take lessons from other instances of natural disasters devastating cities, including Katrina in New Orleans.
"One of the important things about today, is not a single dollar has been spent yet. All 10 semi trucks were donated, all 10 trucks are filled with goods that were donated, these are all volunteers, so we haven't even spent a single cent yet and we're already going out and making a difference," Watt revealed. "That's a testament to the community and the people and the community.
"Once we do start spending that money, this is my plan, just to give you an idea where we're at now, so you can understand me. Because I know people are trusting me with their money to make sure that I make the right decisions," Watt said. "I'm taking my time, I'm going to make sure I do this thing right. Because this is a long-term project. This is not a one day, not a one-week, not a one-year project.
I talked to people from [local charities], I talked to people that were in Katrina, learned what they did right and also learned from their mistakes. 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 I work with local organizations, that we do it right here in the city, so that money goes straight to the people of Houston who need it most."
This is a remarkable thing that Watt is doing. Many times you see athletes contribute to help out people in need from a financial perspective. And Watt did that, although on a much grander scale than he probably ever expected.
But he isn't just raising money and writing checks. He's in the trenches, delivering help to the city of Houston and helping to create a sustainable plan to get the city back in shape.
He has done a lot of impressive things on the football field over his career and this easily trumps it all.
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