Andre Johnson, Houston Texans Player, Takes Abused Kids On $19,521 Toys ‘R’ Us Shopping Spree
Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans is scoring a lot of points today — for kids.
The NFL wide receiver brought 12 children chosen by Child Protective Services to a Houston Toys “R” Us for a holiday shopping spree.
He gave them 80 seconds to fill their baskets with anything from Barbie dream houses to digital cameras, and by the end Johnson’s foundation footed a $19,521 bill, he told houstontexans.com.
An image of Johnson holding three lengthy store receipts in the store surfaced on Reddit and has accumulated more than 1,450 comments as of press time.
"Every day when I wake up, I ask myself, ‘Who can I add value to today,’ because it’s not about me. It’s all about helping someone else. And at this time of the year there are many opportunities to help less fortunate children have a great Christmas," Johnson told ABC13.com.
The children, ages eight to 16, have been exposed to some form of parental abuse and now live with their extended families, according to houstontexans.com. Johnson can relate to a difficult home life.“A lot of these kids get discouraged because of where they grew up and things like that. I grew up in a single-parent home and I was fortunate to achieve my goals,” he told houstontexans.com.
Afterward the shopping spree Johnson had one more stop to make.
After picking up the five-figure bill, Johnson helped the Houston Police Department surprise 800 Bastian Elementary School students with Christmas toys, ABC13.com reports. The pro-bowler’s foundation partnered with the police department’s Blue Santa program to raise awareness for underprivileged children, according to the news outlet.
Founded in 2003, the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation is dedicated to empowering children from single-parent homes. The foundation hosts several children’s charity events in Houston and Miami throughout the year but the Christmas shopping spree is one of his favorites, he told houstontexans.com.
“That’s what this season is about. It’s something I look forward to. The kids are happy, they get what they want for Christmas, and that’s all that matters, “ he told the news outlet.