Over the last month, I have written a series of articles on business leaders and entrepreneurs who have been giving back to the community. I like to spread good news stories, and readers enjoy these uplifting articles.
Today I wanted to shine the spotlight on a Houston Texans NFL legend- JJ Watt. While Watt is famous for his football skills, he should also be recognized for his charitable efforts.
Let's take a look at some of his philanthropy.
The Houston Texans Star
Justin James Watt was born in 1989.
He played college football at the University of Wisconsin and was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. During his career with Houston, Watt was regarded as one of the greatest defensive linemen of all time, a claim backed up by the fact he received the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award three times in his first five seasons.
A fan favorite with Houston fans, Watt moved to the Arizona Cardinals for the 2021 season after ten seasons with the team.
Over his NFL career, Watt has earned millions of dollars and given a lot of it away.
The Watt Foundation
“I hope to make you proud of me on the field as well as off the field by helping the kids in the community have the same opportunities that were afforded to me." JJ Watt
Watt launched the Justin J Watt Foundation in 2010, and the foundation's motto is "Dream Big, Work Hard."
The mission of the foundation "is to provide after-school opportunities for middle-school aged children in the community to become involved in athletics, so that they may learn the character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic, and perseverance, while in a safe and supervised environment with their peers."
Most schools that benefit from the fundraising are in Texas and Wisconsin, but Watt supports schools across the United States. So far, the Foundation has donated over $6.5 million.
Watt has received the Texans Spirit of the Bull Community Award for his philanthropy. In addition, he has been nominated for the NFL's Salute to Service Award for supporting the country's servicemen and women.
Watt also helps people at a very individual level.
After the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, Watt assisted affected families in the Houston area and was also a regular visitor to the Texas Children's Hospital. He has also covered costs for families affected by the Santa Fe High school shooting and the Waukesha Parade Attack.
Watt donated $100,000 and also helped raise over $37 million to help Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey. These funds helped to rebuild over 1,100 homes in Houston.
While Watt no longer plays for Houston, he continues to support schools in the city.
Readers, what do you think of Watt's charitable efforts? What other organizations in Houston would you like to see him support?
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