It’s impossible to escape the devastating news coming out of Houston as the toll – human, financial and otherwise – continues to rise in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Even in the NFL, usually a distraction from the toughest news of the day, there’s no avoiding the impact that the catastrophic storm is having on the residents of Southeast Texas.

The news is especially tough for Emmanuel Sanders, a native of Bellville, Texas, which is located 60 miles west of Houston. After starring at Bellville High School, Sanders moved on to Southern Methodist University in Dallas before embarking on a successful NFL career, but he still holds the Houston area near and dear to his heart. He still maintains a home in the area, and has been keeping a close eye on what’s been happening as the storm continues to ravage the region. But beyond just his worry, thoughts and prayers, Sanders is organizing help to those affected by the storm.

Sanders met with the Denver media following Tuesday’s practice and spoke about what’s happening in his home town, and what he’s doing to help. (Quotes courtesy of Broncos Media Relations.)

On the devastation from Hurricane Harvey in Houston

“Obviously I’m from there so seeing those pictures, seeing those videos, and seeing all of my family and all of my friends going through that, it hurts me that I can’t do anything about it as far as physically. One thing that I can do is I can gather all of my teammates, see how much money we can get together and try to donate some to a cause out there. Right now, we raised I think – at the lowest, $40,000. I know that for a fact and probably even more than that. All of my teammates have contributed and I’m just extremely grateful for it. There are people out there that are going through certain things. My foundation guy reached out to me and said kids out there don’t have diapers. So today, I’m sending 10,000 diapers and I think all in all we’re going to end up sending 40,000 diapers if I can get in contact with people and send it out there. That’s one thing we’re trying to do, and as far as food and drinks, we’ll also try and contribute that way. We’re doing our part as the Broncos and being in the NFL and being on this platform. We’re trying to give back and I know it’s extremely close to my heart because I’m from that city. I have two houses out there so I’m forever grateful for my teammates for chipping in.” 

On if he’s concerned about any of his properties

“One of my cousins lives in my house and it’s been raining so much I’m starting to get a little leakage inside my house from my roof or something because it’s been raining so much. But that’s nothing compared to what everybody else is going through, so I’m good.”

On Texans DE J.J. Watt and NFL teams raising money for the city of Houston

“Yes, I mean that’s huge. I think every NFL team should at least contribute in some type of way. My foundation is based around giving disadvantaged families opportunity to get sports equipment and this and that, but I texted my foundation guy and I said, ‘Hey, look we just raised over $200,000 dollars for that cause but at the same time we have people out here that do not have shelter over their heads and kids that don’t have diapers. We have to take some of that money and use it for a great cause.’ And that’s what we’re doing.”

Click here to contribute to J.J. Watt’s efforts via