You don’t have to be a football fanatic to appreciate what J.J. Watt recently did for a fan who’s having a hard time making ends meet.
Jennifer Simpson of Texas has been struggling to scrape up the cash for her grandfather’s funeral for the past month. Jerry Roderick passed away unexpectedly in June, and the family has done everything they can to pay for his final expenses… but they’re still coming up short.
Desperate, Jennifer has been trying to raise money on social media. Two weeks after Jerry’s death, she shared her money woes on Twitter.
“I don’t know what else to do,” she wrote. “It’s been two weeks since my grandpa passed and we have yet to raise enough money for his funeral. I’m behind on grad school and will have to cancel my next work trip — which is fine. I’m out everyday selling baked goods and plates, but we need more.”
Jennifer finally resorted to selling some of her valuables, starting with her Watt jersey and shoes. She posted an ad on Twitter in hopes they’d reach a fellow fan.
“It hurt me to have to sell things like this, but I mean, I’ll do it to help my family out,” she admitted.
In her tweet, Jennifer tagged the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive end, but she never expected him to see it much less respond in any way.
“We did not expect anything,” said Jennifer’s aunt, Tara Roderick. “We were just expecting that maybe another fan would want to buy that jersey or shoes.”
They were wrong. Less than an hour after Jennifer hit “send,” Watt himself retweeted her post and replied.
Watt made good on his promise the very next day, sending her a donation via Paypal that covered the funeral expenses. The family is still working on covering the cemetery costs but just knowing that a big NFL star like Watt is on their side means the world to them!
“I would love to talk to J.J. myself, because what he has done has lifted a little burden knowing we can lay my dad to rest after a month,” said Tara.
Jennifer thinks Watt’s unexpected gift is heaven-sent because her grandfather was also known for his generosity.
“He was the type of person like J.J.,” she said. “He would give you the last of anything, he was a giving person, so to know that someone is giving to help him, and to help us, he’d be super grateful right now.”
This is such a classy thing to do! Fans support players by buying merchandise and game tickets, so it’s nice to see the players giving back when they can.
Share this story to thank Watt for lending a helping hand to a family in need.
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