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J.J. Watt and Houston Texans hand out supplies, lift spirits of Harvey victims

Houston Texans help Harvey victims
J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans lend a hand to Harvey victims 03:26

A $200,000 fundraising goal for Hurricane Harvey relief has now grown to more than $18.5 million and counting. Houston Texans defensive end J.J Watt only launched the fundraising a week ago, but in days it exploded. 

The water in Houston did not discriminate. Many of the Texans were affected by evacuations and water in their homes, but Watt and the rest of his team knew that while they had the means to recover, many in this city needed a lot of help and resources. So, Watt stepped in.

With boxes of supplies, water and even hugs, Watt and his teammates are helping to get the people of Texas back on their feet, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.

On Sunday, 10 semi-trucks arrived from Watt's home state of Wisconsin filled to the brim with donated items.

"These are all volunteers, so we haven't even spent a single cent yet," Watt said. 

Members of the Houston Texans hand out supplies to Harvey victims.  CBS News

Not a single cent of the millions of dollars he has raised. Watt says with a sum this large he wants to make sure it is managed correctly.

"I'm going to take my time, make sure that I work with local organizations that we do it right here in the city so that money goes straight to the people here of Houston who need it the most so that we can help rebuild them," Watt said.

And that's where it went. Players handed out the donations throughout the city. At Christian Tabernacle Church, hundreds of cars streamed in with people looking for things like water, bleach, cat food and buckets for cleaning.

The football players made sure they had what they needed and helped out volunteers that had been working in the heat for hours.

"It's not right for other people to suffer during the storm," said one volunteer named Eara Rockette.

The die-hard Texans fan made sure that while he worked hard, he also snapped some pictures. He calls the guys his heroes, and today he got to see them in action.

"It's the best 'cause they're coming out to do the right thing," Eara said. 

One of the volunteers, Eara Rockette.  CBS News

The players also brought with them moments of joy for those who had experienced a week of heartbreak.

"I don't know where I'm going to go," said Laura Hernandez. She says mold has taken over her home – but after donning Watt's number and getting signatures, she, like many other volunteers, still had a smile on her face.

"It excites me that they're helping so much here and we can give a hand to people that are in need," Hernandez said.

"It's humbling to see the way the city's coming together going through a hard time," Kurtis Drummond said.

The Texans' safety says it's volunteers like this that keep Houston strong.

"Just keep on fighting to stay together. Keep fighting and we'll bounce back," Drummond said.

These donations don't seem to be anywhere near stopping. A few days ago they reached the goal to $10 million; now it's $20 million, and it is fair to say it is probably not going to stop there. People are donating in small numbers and celebrities are also donating hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ellen DeGeneres even pledged $1 million of her own money.

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