J.J. Watt plans to use hurricane relief funds to rebuild homes, among other things

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J.J. Watt announced his plans for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The Texans defensive end, who is on injured reserve, raised more than $37 million after setting an original goal of $200,000.

“With such incredible support like this comes tremendous responsibility,” Watt said in a press release. “I have spent the greater part of the last month and a half doing my due diligence and meeting with and speaking to as many resources as possible. While I understand the total recovery from Hurricane Harvey could require upwards of $200 billion, and this $37 million will not be able to help every single person as I so badly wish it could, I have made it my mission to ensure this money makes as large of an impact as possible.”

Watt announced four strategic partners –- Americares, Feeding America, SBP and Save the Children –- will receive $30.15 million of the funds to use in the next 18-24 months to rebuild homes, restore child-care centers, provide food and address health needs of those affected most by Hurricane Harvey in Houston and surrounding areas. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund will set aside the remaining $7 million for distribution in 2018 as “we continue to assess and analyze the evolving relief efforts.”

Watt added his thanks, writing, “I have said it many times over the course of the past few months, but it bears repeating again: The most difficult times seem to bring out the best in humanity. I cannot thank everyone enough for their support and donations from across the country and around the world. You have truly shown what is possible when everyone bands together for one common cause. While we are going to do some truly incredible things with this $37 million to make it stretch as far as possible, it is only one small step in the massive recovery effort that lies ahead. I encourage you to please continue to find organizations to donate to. . . . Houston will bounce back from this and we will rise up stronger than ever.”