jj Watt's Harvey relief fund has hit $20 million.

Screengrabs via @JJWatt/Twitter

After $200,000 initial goal, J.J. Watt’s Harvey fund hits $20 million

The fundraiser started with a $200,000 goal.


Andrew Wyrich


Published Sep 5, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 6:25 pm CDT

NFL player J.J. Watt, of the Houston Texans, has raised more than $20 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey, 100 times his original goal of raising $200,000.

Watt’s page, which he set up on YouCaring, attracted donations from nearly 200,000 people—including Drake, who donated $200,000; Ellen DeGeneresWalmart, which donated $1 million; and the Tennessee Titans, which also donated $1 million.

Many of the individual donations ranged from $25 to as high as $5,000.

“We’re gonna see how high we can get it,” Watt said in a video updating people on the process of the fund. “I can’t say thank you enough … What’s happening right now, my focus is very much on getting this money directly back to the people.”

Watt and several Houston Texans teammates handed out 10 semi-trucks full of donated supplies to victims on Sunday including baby supplies, water, and pet food. He called the work “phase one” of his efforts.

Watt told the Washington Post that “not one single dollar” had been spent from the fund as of Sunday and he would proceed with using the money toward projects in the future.  

“I’m taking my time. I’m going to make sure that I do this right. This is a long-term project, not a one-day, a one-week, a one-year project,” he told the Post.

Watt is one of several celebrities who have donated to Harvey relief efforts. Among those who have donated, or pledged to donate, include Beyonce, Kevin Hart, The Rock and Sandra Bullock.

President Donald Trump has also pledged $1 million to the cause.

You can read more about Watt’s efforts to raise money for Harvey victims here.

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*First Published: Sep 5, 2017, 1:28 pm CDT