6 most charitable Houston athletes and how you can help

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'Tis the season of giving and these star athletes have set a great example for Houston.

'Tis the season of giving and some star athletes have set a great example for Houston. The athletes don't just donate their money, but also their time and energy. If they've inspired you, you can click on each of their names for a link to donate to their charity.

  1. JJ Watt, Houston Texans
  2. It should be no surprise that JJ Watt tops the list. Watt raising $30 million for Harvey aid starting with a $100,000 personal donation is just the latest in a long list of good deeds by the Texans defensive end.

    His "Justin J. Watt Foundation" has raised $3,475,000 for middle school after school athletic programs and organizations.

    Watt started the foundation when he still was at the University of Wisconsin.

    Inspired by the story of a student who was left alone for several hours each day because his after-school program closed and he committed a robbery, the foundation donates to middle schools mostly in Wisconsin and Texas that are struggling to fund after-school athletic programs.

    Watt has also donated his time and money to people in the community who needed him. He donated $10,000 to a family who lost their dad in a wreck.

    He visited a young fan who had been hospitalized after an accident and gave him a jersey.

    He also donated $10,000 to a football player for The Woodlands High School who was injured and went into a coma during a game.

  3. James Harden, Houston Rockets
  4. James Harden has truly shown the spirit of giving this year. He donated $1 million to Harvey relief and served Thanksgiving meals for families impacted by Harvey.

    In August, he kicked off his inaugural JH-Town weekend. Part of the weekend was a back-to-school event that provided 150 kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston with backpacks filled with school supplies. His celebrity charity basketball game raised money for his foundation.

    Hardens' "3TheHarden Way Foundation" says it is dedicated to bridging economic and educational gaps in the Houston metropolitan area by providing academic financial support to high achieving students demonstrating leadership within communities facing economic hardship.

    Harden also donated $100,000 to Texas Southern University and the funds will be designated toward scholarships for students in financial need.

  5. Whitney Mercilus, Houston Texans

  6. After Harvey, linebacker Whitney Mercilus donated $65,000 to the Smartie Pants Academy in Northwest Houston. The Smartie Pants Academy is a non-profit organization that provides individualized learning plans for kids with special needs and they were hit hard by the storm.

    His "WithMerci Foundation" provides advocate services and support to families of children with disabilities and special needs. They partner with Autism Rescue Angels, F.A.C.E.S, and easterseals of Greater Houston.

    Whitney Mercilus also served Thanksgiving meals to children and families at Texas Children's Hospital this year.

    Last year during his "12 Days of Giving Merci," he donated toys to the Arrow Child & Family Ministries in Spring, surprised Texans fans with tickets to games, gave out autographed memorabilia, and hosted pizza parties and meet-and-greets.

  7. Chris Paul, Houston Rockets
  8. Chris Paul was new to Houston when Harvey hit, but he still donated $50,000 and held an auction on eBay to benefit to Harvey relief efforts.

    Paul and James Harden hosted a book drive and basketball clinic for students at two local schools damaged by Harvey.

    His "Chris Paul Family Foundation" works with Feed the Children, Make-A-Wish, Salvation Army B&G Clubs, LA's Best Afterschool programs, Leapz & Bounds and a number of other organizations. The organizations aim to support education, literacy and technology enrichment, health and wellness initiatives. He also provides one athletic and one academic scholarship to Wake Forest University a year.

  9. Lance McCullers, Houston Astros
  10. Lance McCullers may be the biggest animal advocate in Houston. He works with organizations that work to make Houston a no-kill city. What did he do when he won the World Series? He didn't go to Disney World, he hosted an animal adoption event.

    Soon after the victory, he also hosted a doggie day care party to benefit his foundation.

    The Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation aims to promote pet adoptions, raising awareness for shelters and programs, and continuing the journey to a no-kill world.

    Even in his personal life, McCullers helps animals in need. He helped a lost dog find her home after she wandered into his yard.

    Lance McCullers and his teammate Alex Bregman both hosted a baseball tournament for children with disabilities.

  11. Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
  12. Carlos Correa doesn't have his own foundation, instead he partners with Houston Children's Charity and specifically their "Restless for the Cause" branch.

    The charity provides beds for children without one. After the storm, Correa, along with Houston Children's Charity and Texas Mattress Makers, donated 500 new mattresses, frames and linens to children affected by Hurricane Harvey. The 21-year-old All-Star was on hand to personally lift the donated items and give them to families in need.

    He's worked with the same group for a few years now.

    "When he found out we gave 100 beds a month, he wasn't satisfied with that," said Laura Ward, with Houston Children's Charity. "He's not going to stop until he gets to his 2,000. That's Carlos."


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