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J.J. Watt's Harvey relief fund surpasses $8.5 million, thanks to a big boost from Ellen

JJ Watt's relief fund passes $8.5 million, thanks to boost from Ellen

Houston, 5th annual JJ Watt Charity Classic, May 2017, J.J. Watt
J.J. Watt's fundraising campaign for Hurricane Harvey victims has surpassed $6 million. Photo courtesy of J.J. Watt/Facebook

Update: By Thursday afternoon (August 31), the JJ Watt Hurricane Harvey relief fund had raised $12 million.

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Houston Texans star J.J. Watt opened up about a fundraising campaign he started for Hurricane Harvey victims, calling it a community effort. "We're trying to raise as much as we can because we know that these recovery efforts are going to be massive," Watt told Good Morning America on Tuesday.

Watt has been steadily raising the goal of his fundraiser since it was started on Sunday. He originally started with a goal of $200,000, but the total has ballooned to more than $8.5  million by Wednesday night with a new goal of $10 million.

"What's happening right now is so much bigger than football," he said.

UPDATE: During an interview with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres Wednesday night (August 30v, Watt was surprised with a $1 million check from Walmart for his relief fund. "You're an amazing guy. It's really going to be hard to root against you if we're playing you in a game," DeGeneres said. "I promise you I will make this money go a long way," Watt said. "I promise you we will help rebuild Houston."

The Texans star also spoke about the fund on Wednesday before getting on a bus headed to Houston from Frisco, Texas, where the teams have been all week. The preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, which had been moved to Arlington, has been canceled so the team could get back to Houston. They had to take buses back because both Houston airports remain closed.

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