Hurricane Harvey could be the costliest natural disaster in United States history, according to AccuWeather president Joel Myers. While the hurricane hasn't yet come to a halt, Myers expects the cost to be as high as $160 billion once it's all said and done. If so, Myers noted that it would be "similar to the combined effect of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy."
As a result, any and all donations will go a long way in helping Houston recover from the disaster. And to help with the process, various athletes, leagues, teams and team owners in the United States have made donations throughout this week to Hurricane Harvey relief funds.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt started a fundraiser over the weekend on YouCaring.com. While his initial goal was to raise $200,000 to "help rebuild the aspects of our community members lives that were damaged or lost," he has since raised over $5.4 million. His goal is to now raise $6 million.
Several athletes and teams have contributed to Watt's fundraiser. Chris Paul, who was traded to the Houston Rockets in the offseason, donated $50,000. Tennessee Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk donated $1 million.
Other NFL teams have made contributions to Hurricane Harvey relief funds – including but not limited to the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots – as have team owners in other leagues. Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander, for example, has donated $10 million to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund started by Houston mayor Sylvester Turner. Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, the rest of the team's ownership group and its foundation announced they will donate $4 million to relief efforts.
The NFL, NBA and MLB have donated a combined $3 million to organizations such as the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, The American Red Cross and United Way. To name some of the MLB players who have also donated: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir ($130,000), Los Angeles Angels All-Star Mike Trout ($27,000), St. Louis Cardinals teammates Matt Carpenter and Adam Wainwright (each of whom will donate $10,000 for each home run they hit until the end of the season) and former New York Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez ($25,000).
Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas announced on Instagram that his company Life Recovery Water will donate 20,000 bottles of its coconut-based water to Hurricane Harvey victims. University of Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson is looking for 20 T-shirts and 10 pairs of sneakers from men's and women's coaches at all levels around the country for him to pass along to "the right agencies."
On behalf of the #ArenasCrew @liferecoverywater @cicitheceo @kenyonmartinsr we would like to donate 20,000 bottles to the victims of #HurricaneHarvey! I want to personally thank the new 106 7-Eleven locations that will now be carrying our waters who graciously allowed their shipments to be given to those in need! Stay strong Houston! My team and I are brainstorming other ways to bring aid & relief to you all! @projectalife thx u for being for the ppl the shipment is on its way