Dell, Watt, Celebs Provide Harvey Relief


Many celebrities - especially those with Houston connections - are stepping up to help with recovery efforts from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey. 

Notable among them - Houston natives Michael & Susan Dell.  Together they announced the launch of the Rebuild Texas Fund:

"We are going to commit 36-million dollars to really launch an effort to raise over 100-million dollars...  We are going to donate half of that - 18-million dollars - effective immediately so that we can launch this fund."

Susan Dell tells ABC's "Good Morning America" they will match every two dollars donated with a dollar of their own, as they strive to reach their ultimate goal.  Their commitment is the largest private donation ever given to disaster relief.

They're not alone in their generosity. 

Texans' star JJ Watt - in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper - said he had a sudden brainstorm about how to offer assistance:

"We were sitting in Dallas in a hotel and I'm watching all this unfold on TV, and so I said, "I feel helpless; I feel like I want to do something to help our people.  What can I do from Dallas?  I can't physically help, so I wanted to raise money.  And I set out to raise $200,000 and just took a video on my phone."

By early Friday, he raised over $14-million:

"It's kind of open-ended; once we hit 10-million I said I'm gonna put it at 15 and see what happens... So we're just going to let it go and see where it goes; I mean maybe it gets to 20, maybe it gets more." 

"This weekend, my teammates and I, we have semi-trucks rolling in from out of town that we filled up.  We have about nine semi-trucks that are going to come into town.  And we have those all filled with stock supplies - water, food, clothing - everything.  So, we're going to give that out this weekend, that's our first step."

He's taking advice from those who contributed during Hurricane Katrina:

"The best thing people have told me so far is, take your time to make sure you do it right.  And I want people to know that that's what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my time to make sure I do it right.  Because I want to do right by these people that need it, and I also want to do right by the people that trust me with their money."

"This isn't a one day, this isn't a one-week, this isn't a one month thing.  This is going to take months and years and years.  So I want to make sure that since we do have this large sum of money, I want to make sure that I do it right over the long period.  And I want Houston to know that I'm with them in the long haul.  I'm not just here for the initial fundraiser; I'm here to make sure that we take care of you down the road."

Others are collecting donations for victims.  Among them:

Texans owner Bob McNair has donated one-million dollars.  He's been joined by NFL owners from the Patriots, Jets, and others.

The Dallas Cowboys raised more than two-million dollars during a telethon for hurricane relief. 

The Tampa Rays donated revenues from this week's Astros series with the Rangers, after the games had to be relocated from Minute Maid Park.

Astros ownership - led by Jim Crane - has pledged four-million dollars

Houston Rockets' owner Leslie Alexander has committed 10-million dollars to hurricane relief. 

Newly-arrived Rockets star Chris Paul put up $75,000.

UH Basketball coach Kelvin Sampson has reached out to other college coaches to collect excess shirts and shoes. 

Houston's Beyonce says a donation from her charitable group BeyGOOD will help with relief, but she did not disclose an amount.

And our colleague Josh Innes from SportsTalk 790 has raised $11,000 through his own efforts.


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