The faces of J.J. Watt's relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

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Meet the people who were aided by J.J. Watt’s Hurricane Harvey relieft effort.

<p>Elizabeth and Earnest Garcia escaped through chest-high water and 4 a.m. darkness – a suitcase on Earnest’s shoulders, their granddaughter on Elizabeth’s. By the time the storm subsided, they hadn’t just lost their house and vehicle; Earnest had lost his construction truck and tools, and therefore the family’s main source of income. Without it, a full home rebuild was implausible. That is, until SBP stepped up, and turned the Garcias into Watt-jersey-wearing fanatics. (Courtesy of SBP) </p>
Elizabeth Garcia

Elizabeth and Earnest Garcia escaped through chest-high water and 4 a.m. darkness – a suitcase on Earnest’s shoulders, their granddaughter on Elizabeth’s. By the time the storm subsided, they hadn’t just lost their house and vehicle; Earnest had lost his construction truck and tools, and therefore the family’s main source of income. Without it, a full home rebuild was implausible. That is, until SBP stepped up, and turned the Garcias into Watt-jersey-wearing fanatics. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p>Harvey sent Beverly and Key Selders on the road. Ripped a big hole in their roof. Soaked their seven kids’ beds. Wiped away Key’s job. So off they went to Austin, then to San Antonio, then back to Houston, in search of shelter and work. A Tahoe truck served as their nine-person bedroom. The kids were out of school. And they were hungry. Which is where Watt came in. His donation to Feeding America supported many food pantries. One that fed the Selders family, on at least a few occasions, was among them. (Courtesy of Beverly Selders) </p>
Selders family

Harvey sent Beverly and Key Selders on the road. Ripped a big hole in their roof. Soaked their seven kids’ beds. Wiped away Key’s job. So off they went to Austin, then to San Antonio, then back to Houston, in search of shelter and work. A Tahoe truck served as their nine-person bedroom. The kids were out of school. And they were hungry. Which is where Watt came in. His donation to Feeding America supported many food pantries. One that fed the Selders family, on at least a few occasions, was among them. (Courtesy of Beverly Selders)

<p><span>When Harvey struck, </span><b>Stacy Fitzgerald</b><span> knew that the over 200 children at Kids Harbor Learning Center needed her more than ever. So she got to work – at one point for 44 hours straight, without sleep. Cleaning, repairing, preparing to open less than a week after Harvey mercifully passed. Eventually, renovations required her to take out a six-figure personal loan, sacrificing her own financial well-being for the kids. To reward her heroism, Save The Children – funded by millions from Watt – swooped in to foot her bill. </span>(Courtesy of Stacy Fitzgerald) </p>
Stacy Fitzgerald

When Harvey struck, Stacy Fitzgerald knew that the over 200 children at Kids Harbor Learning Center needed her more than ever. So she got to work – at one point for 44 hours straight, without sleep. Cleaning, repairing, preparing to open less than a week after Harvey mercifully passed. Eventually, renovations required her to take out a six-figure personal loan, sacrificing her own financial well-being for the kids. To reward her heroism, Save The Children – funded by millions from Watt – swooped in to foot her bill. (Courtesy of Stacy Fitzgerald)

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<p>Angela Medina remembers the pictures. Sent by staffers, of the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans’ early childhood center. The playground was underwater. The building had flooded. The roof had collapsed. Medina, the principal, searched for answers. One of them, eventually, was Save The Children, which, bolstered by Watt’s donation, funded repairs. It paid for carpets. Restored kids’ haven. And their families, some of whom arrived crying on the first day back, were effusively grateful.<br>(Courtesy of AAMA) </p>
Angela Medina

Angela Medina remembers the pictures. Sent by staffers, of the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans’ early childhood center. The playground was underwater. The building had flooded. The roof had collapsed. Medina, the principal, searched for answers. One of them, eventually, was Save The Children, which, bolstered by Watt’s donation, funded repairs. It paid for carpets. Restored kids’ haven. And their families, some of whom arrived crying on the first day back, were effusively grateful.
(Courtesy of AAMA)

<p>Harvey forced Britny Arnett and her four children to her parents’ house; into one bedroom, out of their routines, away from comfort. The kids didn’t understand: Why can’t we go home? What happened to our toys? They craved – no, needed – some semblance of normalcy. And Kids Harbor provided it, just nine days after the storm’s peak. (Courtesy of Kids Harbor) </p>
Britny Arnett

Harvey forced Britny Arnett and her four children to her parents’ house; into one bedroom, out of their routines, away from comfort. The kids didn’t understand: Why can’t we go home? What happened to our toys? They craved – no, needed – some semblance of normalcy. And Kids Harbor provided it, just nine days after the storm’s peak. (Courtesy of Kids Harbor)

<p>Nellie Cervantes remembers the dump trucks. Swinging by her devastated home, scooping up her family’s damaged belongings. The family, Nellie says, “literally lost everything.” Including, for two weeks, her 3-year-old daughter’s weekday routine at AAMA. But the daycare soon reopened. Save The Children helped restore it – the school, and hints of normalcy for dozens of kids. (Courtesy of Nellie Cervantes) </p>
Nellie Cervantes

Nellie Cervantes remembers the dump trucks. Swinging by her devastated home, scooping up her family’s damaged belongings. The family, Nellie says, “literally lost everything.” Including, for two weeks, her 3-year-old daughter’s weekday routine at AAMA. But the daycare soon reopened. Save The Children helped restore it – the school, and hints of normalcy for dozens of kids. (Courtesy of Nellie Cervantes)

<p>Jennifer Taylor lost everything. House, belongings, everything. And in the week following the storm, she confronted the prospect of temporarily losing her two sons, too. She considered leaving them in Arkansas with in-laws, or in Florida with her parents, while she and her husband began to rebuild their lives back in Texas. And she would have, if Kids Harbor hadn’t reopened so remarkably soon after Harvey. (Courtesy of Kids Harbor) </p>
Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer Taylor lost everything. House, belongings, everything. And in the week following the storm, she confronted the prospect of temporarily losing her two sons, too. She considered leaving them in Arkansas with in-laws, or in Florida with her parents, while she and her husband began to rebuild their lives back in Texas. And she would have, if Kids Harbor hadn’t reopened so remarkably soon after Harvey. (Courtesy of Kids Harbor)

<p>Billy Guevara is blind. But he remembers the screams from his sister. With the rain teeming, she had just learned that their aunt and uncle had been swept away by Harvey. Amid the anguish, the Guevaras were rescued by the Cajun Navy; taken to a church; then a convention center; then an uncle’s apartment; then an aunt’s house. Billy, though, yearned for his. He’d awake in the middle of the night, searching for answers and blame. Months later, when Billy ran his hand over the walls and floors of his SBP-rebuilt house, he nearly wept with joy. (Courtesy of SBP) </p>
Billy Guevara

Billy Guevara is blind. But he remembers the screams from his sister. With the rain teeming, she had just learned that their aunt and uncle had been swept away by Harvey. Amid the anguish, the Guevaras were rescued by the Cajun Navy; taken to a church; then a convention center; then an uncle’s apartment; then an aunt’s house. Billy, though, yearned for his. He’d awake in the middle of the night, searching for answers and blame. Months later, when Billy ran his hand over the walls and floors of his SBP-rebuilt house, he nearly wept with joy. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p>Monte Mittag evacuated in a stranger’s boat, wobbling through the dark of night. She endured overcrowded convention centers-cum-shelters. In January, she moved back onto her own property, in a tiny RV. But she “felt invaded … frightened.” Overwhelmed by emotion, she was unable to work. At least not until SBP came in to rebuild her home – and, really, her life. (Courtesy of SBP) </p>
Monte Mittag

Monte Mittag evacuated in a stranger’s boat, wobbling through the dark of night. She endured overcrowded convention centers-cum-shelters. In January, she moved back onto her own property, in a tiny RV. But she “felt invaded … frightened.” Overwhelmed by emotion, she was unable to work. At least not until SBP came in to rebuild her home – and, really, her life. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p>Patricia Helton had been living in her Houston home for 59 years. It had, at various points, housed four children, nine grandchildren, and great grandchildren. And last August, Harvey ravaged it. After the storm, others wondered why Helton didn’t just move away. But she told them: “Old people don’t like change.” Watt and SBP, in rebuilding the house, ensured she wouldn’t have to endure any more of it. (Courtesy of SBP) </p>
Patricia Helton

Patricia Helton had been living in her Houston home for 59 years. It had, at various points, housed four children, nine grandchildren, and great grandchildren. And last August, Harvey ravaged it. After the storm, others wondered why Helton didn’t just move away. But she told them: “Old people don’t like change.” Watt and SBP, in rebuilding the house, ensured she wouldn’t have to endure any more of it. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p>Melissa Gates remembers waiting. For the water to stop rising. For FEMA to answer her call. For someone, anyone, to help her rebuild the Harvey-afflicted north Houston home she’d lived in since she was a baby. And SBP – via a $8.5 million donation from J.J. Watt – came through. (Courtesy of SBP) </p>
Melissa Gates

Melissa Gates remembers waiting. For the water to stop rising. For FEMA to answer her call. For someone, anyone, to help her rebuild the Harvey-afflicted north Houston home she’d lived in since she was a baby. And SBP – via a $8.5 million donation from J.J. Watt – came through. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p>Annie Sanders was at work when the storm hit, on the 23rd floor. When she returned home a week later, it hit her before she even opened the door. The smell. The mold. The mildew. It was awful. So to a hotel she went, for seven months. A contractor, she says, deceived her. The home remained unlivable. Until Watt and SBP showed up to restore it. Now Sanders is back – with a No. 99 jersey in her dresser. (Courtesy of SBP) </p>
Annie Sanders

Annie Sanders was at work when the storm hit, on the 23rd floor. When she returned home a week later, it hit her before she even opened the door. The smell. The mold. The mildew. It was awful. So to a hotel she went, for seven months. A contractor, she says, deceived her. The home remained unlivable. Until Watt and SBP showed up to restore it. Now Sanders is back – with a No. 99 jersey in her dresser. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p>Margarita Garza remembers the stress. Thirty people, including her three kids, were crammed into her sister-in-law’s house, shielding themselves from Harvey’s wrath. When she arrived back at hers, the damage brought her 9-year-old son to tears, and drove the family away, into a single bedroom elsewhere. With the struggle ongoing, she remembers Facebook friends wondering where Watt’s money was going. Months later, it rebuilt her home. (Courtesy of SBP) </p>
Margarita Garza

Margarita Garza remembers the stress. Thirty people, including her three kids, were crammed into her sister-in-law’s house, shielding themselves from Harvey’s wrath. When she arrived back at hers, the damage brought her 9-year-old son to tears, and drove the family away, into a single bedroom elsewhere. With the struggle ongoing, she remembers Facebook friends wondering where Watt’s money was going. Months later, it rebuilt her home. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p><b>Kenneth Carter</b><span> remembers trudging through knee-deep water, knocking on one door, then the next. As the water filled his backyard and eventually his house, his first thought wasn’t belongings; it was human lives. Particularly those of elders. After a boat rescue and nights spent in cars, no life was lost. But Carter’s home was – until, this past summer, Watt’s donation allowed SBP to restore it. </span>(Courtesy of SBP) </p>
Kenneth Carter

Kenneth Carter remembers trudging through knee-deep water, knocking on one door, then the next. As the water filled his backyard and eventually his house, his first thought wasn’t belongings; it was human lives. Particularly those of elders. After a boat rescue and nights spent in cars, no life was lost. But Carter’s home was – until, this past summer, Watt’s donation allowed SBP to restore it. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p><b>DeWayne Bergen</b><span> was sleeping on a park bench, his blood sugar rising, past the dangerous 200 benchmark. Then to 300. Then 400. Past 500, to levels that would send ambulance sirens wailing. But Harvey had washed away his medication. A truck accident and health issues wiped away his job, and the money necessary to replenish prescriptions. Watt, though, had donated millions to Americares, which supported clinics throughout southeast Texas. One restored Bergen’s medication, and very likely saved his life. </span>(Courtesy of SBP) </p>
DeWayne Bergen

DeWayne Bergen was sleeping on a park bench, his blood sugar rising, past the dangerous 200 benchmark. Then to 300. Then 400. Past 500, to levels that would send ambulance sirens wailing. But Harvey had washed away his medication. A truck accident and health issues wiped away his job, and the money necessary to replenish prescriptions. Watt, though, had donated millions to Americares, which supported clinics throughout southeast Texas. One restored Bergen’s medication, and very likely saved his life. (Courtesy of SBP)

<p><b>Linda Villanueva</b><span> was overwhelmed. Physically, and mentally. Her sister’s death in June 2017 sucked away hope. Villanueva felt, she says, “no desire to keep going. No desire to wake up. Angry that I woke up. That I had to continue to live.” And that was all before the storm. Four months of post-Harvey heartache exacerbated her depression, and eventually sent her to the hospital. For peace of mind, she needed to live alone. Which meant rent, and money – money she therefore didn’t have for food. But Watt’s donation to Feeding America supported Villanueva’s local pantry, which “full-on fed” her throughout the most difficult months of her life. </span>(Courtesy of Linda Villanueva) </p>
Linda Villanueva

Linda Villanueva was overwhelmed. Physically, and mentally. Her sister’s death in June 2017 sucked away hope. Villanueva felt, she says, “no desire to keep going. No desire to wake up. Angry that I woke up. That I had to continue to live.” And that was all before the storm. Four months of post-Harvey heartache exacerbated her depression, and eventually sent her to the hospital. For peace of mind, she needed to live alone. Which meant rent, and money – money she therefore didn’t have for food. But Watt’s donation to Feeding America supported Villanueva’s local pantry, which “full-on fed” her throughout the most difficult months of her life. (Courtesy of Linda Villanueva)

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