WATT A GUY

J.J. Watt reveals how $41.6 million of Harvey donation money to his foundation is being spent

J.J. Watt reveals how $41.6 million of Harvey donation money to his foundation is being spent
Watt was named the NFL's Man of the Year for his Harvey efforts. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Houston Texans megastar J.J. Watt simply wanted to help. As Harvey was decimating his beloved city, the NFL and pop culture phenom released a video, enlisting fans and followers for support. He challenged them to raise for $200,000 to his Justin J. Watt Foundation via a YouCaring drive, “because I know these recovery efforts are going to be massive,” he told viewers.

Watt couldn’t have expected the overwhelming response. In less than two hours, he met his goal; in 24 hours, he surpassed $500,000. Soon he was announcing increases almost daily — the Tennessee Titans, sending love to their former home, sent $1 million to Watt’s campaign alone.

The final number: a staggering $41.6 million — the largest crowdsourced fundraiser in world history, according to the foundation.

Soon, Watt was receiving global praise, and was bestowed with the NFL’s Walter Payton Award, which recognizes the player who best demonstrates a charitable and community spirit. As SportsMap editor Fred Faour noted, the award was a no-brainer.

But, questions quickly arose as to where the funds were being appropriated; Watt even publicly responded to one dubious fan.

Finally, there are answers. On August 27, Watt’s foundation released a statement outlining the progress of the contributions made to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund started by Watt “following the destruction left by Hurricane Harvey 12 months ago.”

All funds have been distributed to eight nonprofits: All Hands and Hearts, Americares, Boys & Girls Clubs, Baker Ripley, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, and SBP, according to the statement released by the foundation and the Houston Texans.

Additionally, the monies have so far been used on:

  • The cleanup, repair and rebuilding of over 600 homes.
  • The recovery and rebuilding of over 420 childcare centers and after-school programs, serving over 16,000 children.
  • The distribution of over 26,000,000 meals to those affected.
  • Physical and mental health services to over 6,500 individuals.
  • Distribution of medicine to over 10,000 patients.

The statement also outlines a 12-month plan, stating “the work continues.”

  • Home restoration and disaster case management, including assistance with temporary housing, furniture, appliances, transportation and more with Baker Ripley.
  • Continued assistance with both physical and mental health services, including the distribution of medicine and implementation of mobile medical clinics with Americares.
  • Additional support to handle the massive increase in demand following Harvey, covering 48 counties through the Houston Food Bank, Coastal Bend Food Bank, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Southeast Texas Food Bank with Feeding America.
  • Rebuilding Harvey-damaged homes, while also focusing on providing resiliency for future storms in Rockport, Aransas County, Refugio County and San Patricio County with All Hands & Hearts.
  • Rebuilding and restoring damaged Boys & Girls Clubs centers in Harvey-affected areas, serving over 5,000 youth.
  • Repairing and rebuilding Harvey-damaged homes with Habitat for Humanity.

In addition to details of the disbursement, Watt released a lengthy letter to fans and supporters of his cause.

Continue reading on CultureMap.

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Will Blanco stay in the starting rotation moving forward? Composite Getty Image.

Coming off two tough losses against the Texas Rangers, the Astros were able to respond with a win on Sunday as Ronel Blanco was flirting with a second consecutive no-hitter.

Editor's note: This article and video were published before the Astros announced Framber Valdez's elbow injury.

Blanco has clearly been a bright spot in Houston's rotation, but overall the starting pitching has been good. One big concern in the rotation though has to be Hunter Brown. And while JP France hasn't been great, he's at least pitched well enough to keep his team in the game. Unlike Brown, who gave up an early five spot on Friday night that led to a blowout win for Texas.

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Speaking of pitching issues, Josh Hader, Ryan Pressly, and Bryan Abreu have all struggled this season. But we're not too concerned with only ten games in the books. These guys are proven high-leverage pitchers. And Hader did record his first save of the season on Sunday, but even that didn't come easy. Hader gave up a run in the ninth inning before securing the win for Houston.

Rafael Montero and Seth Martinez are both pitching better than expected, so the bullpen could be a real force to be reckoned with once they're firing on all cylinders.

What about the offense?

We're still waiting for Alex Bregman and Jose Abreu to get things going, but the Astros offense is hitting better than they're getting credit for. They currently have the 7th-best OPS in MLB, they just need to be a little more consistent.

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