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“You have truly provided an unbelievable example of what the human spirit is capable of accomplishing.”

Meghan Overdeep
August 28, 2018

One year after Hurricane Harvey wrought destruction on the Houston area, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has provided an update on his unparalleled recovery efforts.

As it turns out, Watt managed to raise even more money than was previously thought. On Monday, the Justin J. Watt Foundation revealed that the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which was started by Watt 12 months ago with a modest goal of $200,000, has brought in a staggering $41.6 million to date, making it the largest crowdsourced fundraiser in world history.

According to a news release, the funds have been distributed amongst eight nonprofits—double what was announced previously. All Hands and Hearts, Americares, Boys & Girls Clubs, Baker Ripley, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children and SBP have all received monetary assistance from Watt’s relief fund.

The money has reportedly assisted in the repair and rebuilding of over 600 homes, distribution of over 26,000,000 meals, recovery and rebuilding of over 420 childcare centers and after-school programs, distribution of medicine to over 10,000 patients and much, much more.

WATCH: One Year After Hurricane Harvey: Operation Penny

“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, 29, wrote in a press release. “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.”

Watt continued, adding that there’s still plenty of work to be done, and that his nonprofit will remain committed to ongoing recovery efforts. He also expressed his gratitude for the thousands who contributed.

“I cannot thank everyone enough for your support and generosity. You have truly provided an unbelievable example of what the human spirit is capable of accomplishing. Every time that I am fortunate enough to witness someone step back into their home for the first time or a child run around on the playground again, I am reminded of the generosity of strangers that helped make it all possible,” Watt concluded. “Thank you and never stop spreading the positivity! #HoustonStrong”