A year after Hurricane Harvey, J.J. Watts’ foundation has done incredible things.

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.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

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Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

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