J.J. Watt’s massive crowdfunding effort for Hurricane Harvey relief was literally unprecedented.
The fundraiser Watt started on Aug. 27 of last year raised a total of $41.6 million, which the Texans say is the largest crowdfunding campaign in the history of the world.
The storm hit south Texas on Aug. 26 and dumped over 50 inches of rain in some areas, causing devastating flooding. Tens of thousands of residents had to be rescued from their flooded homes.
Watt started the fundraiser from his hotel in Dallas, where the Texans stayed in the aftermath of the storm, and it quickly surpassed its $500,000 goal. The campaign raised $140,000 in the span of an hour and $12 million in the next four days. Watt closed the fundraiser two weeks later and shifted the focus to distributing the money.
The money was spread across eight different non-profit organizations who used it to give out 26 million meals and repair more than 600 homes, among other efforts.
“I cannot thank everyone enough for your support and generosity,” Watt said in a statement. “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. Thank you and never stop spreading the positivity!”