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ESPN reporter Adam Schefter shared the news on Twitter Sunday, reporting that their contribution would help the organization supply “over one million meals.”
“More generosity: @JJWatt and his wife @KealiaOhai have personally donated $350,000 to the @HoustonFoodBank, providing over one million meals for those in need during this unprecedented time,” Schefter wrote.
The Houston Chronicle confirmed the news as well, similarly reporting the magnitude of the couple’s donation, which comes one month after they officially tied the knot on Feb. 15 with a ceremony in the Bahamas.
Prior to their contribution, the NFL star, 30, commented on the ongoing pandemic. “These are truly wild times,” he wrote on Twitter last week.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Kealia Ohai and J. J. Watt
These are truly wild times.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 12, 2020
Watt and Ohai, 28, join many others across the sports world who are taking the initiative to help their communities and those put in vulnerable positions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Earlier Monday, the NBA’s Donovan Mitchell — who tested positive for COVID-19 last week — told Good Morning America that he partnered with the Salt Lake City Granite School District to supply meals for families while school is out to contain the virus.
“Just being able to provide them meals, you know, that particular school district in Salt Lake City is home to some of the most vulnerable children in Salt Lake,” Mitchell, 23, explained. “For parents who may not have the money to be able to not send their kids off to school to get food, I think [this] is a scary feeling for them, and I want to be able to make sure that they’re set and that they understand that guys like myself or whoever have their back.”
Meanwhile, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson pledged to pay the salaries of all of the women and men employed by the Smoothie King Center “for the next 30 days” after the NBA announced last week that the season would be suspended.
Elsa/Getty Images Zion Williamson
“This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis,” Williamson, 19, shared. “This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.”
Similarly, Cleveland Cavaliers player Kevin Love donated $100,000 to support the staff at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
“Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming,” the 31-year-old shared on Instagram. “I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need — whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family.”
As of Monday morning, March 16, there have been at least 3,602 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 66 deaths in the U.S., according to a New York Times database.
Several states have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding, and public schools across the country have also been closed in response.