Former Wisconsin Badger J.J. Watt raising big money for Harvey flood victims

Posted at 10:07 PM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 23:19:12-04

Donations have been pouring in ever since Pewaukee native and former Wisconsin Badger J.J. Watt launched a fund for flood victims Sunday, reaching out to his fans on Twitter.

"Houston's a great city.  We're gonna come out of this stronger than ever, but we're gonna need a lot of money to help these people rebuild," J.J. Watt said. 

The Houston Texan kicked off the fundraiser by contributing $100,000 of his own money and set a goal to double it.

"I know that there's gonna be a lot that we need to do to help rebuild," Watt said.

He reached the goal within two house so Watt upped it to $500,000.  That was met in 24 hours.  The new goal was then set at $1 million. That was met too. As of 9 p.m. Monday, the goal was at $1.5 million. 

"He's excited to be able to help using his platform and having all the donations pouring in," said Connie Watt, J.J.'s mom.

Watt's mom isn't sure her son expected such a big response, but she isn't surprised.

"J.J. really is has a captive audience and because of all of his giving and genuine heart felt love for the community and what not and how he loves to give back I didn't doubt that people would rally around him," said Connie Watt.

Fifty-five Red Cross volunteers from Wisconsin are helping in Houston.

"We have a lot of people down there.  We have a lot of people on the ground, but we are going to have to send money," said Patty Flowers, Regional CEO of the Wisconsin American Red Cross.

The Red Cross Regional CEO said people have nothing left and are in need of the basics.

"Providing donations is the way to make that work so we can get it down there and get everything that people need right now," Flowers said. 

You can donate to the Red Cross fund for flood victims here. 

Donate to the Salvation Army fund for flood victims here. 

Donations are coming in from all over.

"I can't even begin to describe what it's like to see people come together for a common cause," Watt said.

The J.J. Watt Foundation needs your help filling trucks with supplies in Pewaukee, Madison and Janesville this week.  Those will head to Houston this weekend. Soon you can find information here.