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From Ellen DeGeneres to a six-year-old with a lemonade stand, more than $20,000 people donated to J.J. Watt's Hurricane Harvey relief fund.

By Chris Chavez
December 05, 2017

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has been honored as one of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award winners for his work in raising more than $37 million in relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey victims.

He was profiled in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated by Robert Klemko.

In August, the storm devastated Houston and left much of the southeast Texas area flooded.

His fundraising campaign began just says after the storm with an initial goal of raising $200,000 but easily surpassed that mark. More than 200,000 people donated to the campaign before Watt closed the donation phase and moved to distributing the money.

Watt has divided $30.15 million of the donations for Americares, Feeding America, SBP and Save the Children. The last $7 million will be saved for 2018 when Watt's group will assess the continuing relief efforts.

Here are some of the donors recognized in Klemko's story:

• Charles Butt, the owner of the HEB supermarket chain, donated $5 million. It is the largest donation to the online campaign.

• Rapper Drake donated $200,000 to Watt's campaign in late August.

• Television host Ellen DeGeneres partnered with Walmart to donate $1 million.

• Clay Iverson's two sons were inspired to donate $25 of their own money. Iverson coached Watt and his brothers in high school.

• Six-year-old Hudson Patrick started a lemonade stand, which raised $330 in his first day. Vanessa Robertson of Houston, TX came across a Facebook post about the stand and decided to match Patrick's total. They collectively contributed $2,152.

• Kevin Yoder and Michael Roberts have a third- and fourth-grade flag football team in Hudson, Iowa. They asked the members of the team, which wore Texans-branded uniforms, if they could raise money in a few days. The team raised $559.

• Greendale and Pewaukee's high school football teams teamed up to turn their game against each other into a fundraiser. Admission to the game was $5 but people were donating much more. They brought in more than $9,000 in ticket sales, which was sent to Watt's fund.

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