The silver lining to the dark cloud of tragedy are the heroes who emerge to help those whose lives have been devastated.
One year ago, Houston, Texas was devastated by Harvey, the most deadly and costly hurricane in American history.
Harvey took an estimated 88 lives and caused over $200 billion in damages.
Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt was a bright light in Harvey’s aftermath.
He launched a campaign to raise $200,000 for relief efforts but his goal was surpassed by more than $41 million dollars.
Watt’s campaign would become the largest crowdsourced fundraiser in world history, earning him the NFL’s coveted Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
The downside to the ever-changing news cycle is that shortly after tragedy hits, the media moves on to the next story, and the work done by first-responders and charities often goes unseen.
But one year after Harvey, Watt has shared the magnificent things that have been done with the $41.6 million in donations.
Donations to the J.J. Watt Foundation supported:
- The cleanup and rebuilding of over 600 homes
- The recovery and rebuilding of over 420 child care centers and after-school programs that service over 16,000 children
- Distribution of over 26,000,000 meals
- Physical and mental health services to over 6,500 individuals
- Distribution of medical to over 10,000 patients
“As I reflect on the events of Hurricane Harvey one year ago, the memories of destruction and devastation remain, but they are accompanied by memories of hope, selflessness and the beauty of the human spirit,” Watt said in a statement.
“The actions of professional first responders and everyday citizens alike were an inspiration to the world and a shining example of the inherent good that lies within us all.”
But the foundation isn't done yet. Over the next 12 months it will focus on rebuilding and restoring of Boys & Girls Clubs, assistance with physical and mental health services and home restoration.