‘That’s our city’: Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt helps raise money for Harvey victims

As Tropical Storm Harvey continued to batter Houston and other parts of southeast Texas with record amounts of rain Sunday, and with the catastrophic flooding in the region expected to worsen in the coming days, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt shared a message of support.

“I’m sitting here watching the news, checking the Internet and seeing everything that’s going on with Hurricane Harvey and the damage it’s causing back home,” Watt said in a video message to his 3.89 million followers on Twitter and 2.7 million followers on Instagram. “It’s very difficult. It’s very difficult, not only because we have family and friends back there — some guys have young kids, some guys have wives and families — but that’s our city. It’s very tough to watch our city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help, not be able to help with the recovery, not be able to help with the process.”

Unable to return to Houston after their preseason game at New Orleans on Saturday night, Watt and the Texans flew to Dallas to wait out the storm. The Texans announced Sunday that they will practice Monday at the Cowboys’ facility in Frisco, Tex. The Cowboys have already offered to host Thursday’s preseason game against the Texans, which is scheduled to be held at NRG Stadium in Houston. No official announcement about the game being relocated has been made.

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“It’s very tough, so what I want to do is I want to start a fundraiser, because I know these recovery efforts are going to be massive,” Watt said. “I know that there’s going to be a whole bunch of people we need to help get back on their feet. I know there’s going to be a lot we need to do to help rebuild. So I’m going to put the link in my bio. If you can donate something small, if you can donate something big. Whatever you can donate, please donate to help these people out. Houston’s a great city and we’re going to come out of this stronger than ever, but we’re going to need a lot of money to help rebuild. So if you can donate, please donate. Everybody in Houston, stay safe. We’re thinking about you. We’re going to come back. We’re going to help you out.”

Within a couple of hours of launching his fundraising campaign on YouCaring.com, Watt had helped raise more than $160,000 of his $200,000 goal.

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