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Original Issue

Disaster Relief

Football responds to Hurricane Harvey

WATCHING THE AFTERMATH of Hurricane Harvey, the devastating storm that hit the Texas Gulf Coast last Friday, bringing catastrophic flooding to Houston—the country's fourth-largest city—Texans defensive end J.J. Watt became so distraught that he took to social media and made a plea to his 6.6 million Twitter and Instagram followers. Setting up a fund-raising page, the 28-year-old Watt jump-started the fund by donating $100,000 himself. In a little more than 24 hours, his Houston Flood Relief Fund had raised more than $625,000. Watt set a goal for the fund of $1 million.

Others around the NFL followed suit. On Monday, the Texans pledged $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston's flood relief fund, a donation that was matched by the NFL Foundation.

The Cowboys, who allowed the Texans to practice at their facility this week, sponsored a Dallas-area telethon to help raise money for recovery efforts. Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family donated to the American Red Cross for the Hurricane Harvey relief fund and pledged to match all contributions, up to $1 million. Kraft has a great fondness for the city, he says; New England twice won Super Bowls there, in 2004 and '17.

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