In a year, J.J. Watt's hurricane relief efforts led to 26 million meals, 600 repaired homes

J.J. Watt and the Texans provided an update of Watt's Hurricane Harvey fundraiser, one year after he asked for donations. (AP)
J.J. Watt and the Texans provided an update of Watt’s Hurricane Harvey fundraiser, one year after he asked for donations. (AP)

On Aug. 27 last year, J.J. Watt tweeted a simple video from what looked to be his hotel room. He talked about how hard it was to watch the news of the damage Hurricane Harvey was causing in Houston.

“What I do want to do, is I want to start a fundraiser,” Watt said.

He set the initial goal at $200,000. It ended up becoming the largest crowd-sourced fundraiser in world history, according to the Houston Texans.

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On Monday, one year after Watt’s first video, the Texans and Watt provided updates of the fundraiser that made national news. The first place to start is one stunning figure: Watt’s effort raised $41.6 million, or 208 times what he set out to raise.

How was the money from J.J. Watt’s fundraiser used?

The update on Monday outlined where the funds went and what they were used for. While it should be obvious that $41.6 million was going to help in many different ways, it’s still staggering when you see how many people were helped.

From 26 million meals to 600 repaired or rebuilt homes to 6,500 victims receiving mental and physical health services, the funds helped in many different areas. For his efforts, J.J. Watt was the easy winner of last season’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

What is left to be done?

As Watt said in a letter that was distributed by the Texans on Monday, “While a great deal has been accomplished in the past 12 months, there is still much work to be done.”

Among the remaining issues were rebuilding and repairing more homes affected by the hurricane, and restoring damaged Boys & Girls Clubs which serve 5,000 children.

Here’s Watt’s letter from Texans PR:


And a rundown of the efforts still remaining:


Given all the negativity that surrounds every aspect of 2018, especially on social media, the outpouring of support for the people of Houston after Watt asked for help is a reminder of the good in people.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!