Texans WR Andre Johnson gives back to community during toy giveaway, shopping spree
HOUSTON -- When Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson is not running all over the football field catching passes, he's running around the community helping local kids for the holidays.
Johnson knows many of his young fans love Toys R Us, which is why he surprised some of them with a special holiday shopping spree on Tuesday morning. But the surprises didn't end there. We followed him as he helped bring smiles to hundreds of students' faces.
"You have a minute and 20 seconds to run through the store and get whatever you want," Johnson told the kids involved in the Toys R Us shopping spree.
With a quick message to lay down the rules, Johnson is once again working to help some children have a memorable holiday.
"Everybody ready? Go!" said Johnson.
On Tuesday morning, he surprised these kids with his annual Christmas shopping spree. With the help of the Pro-Bowler's foundation and Child Protective Services, 12 kids, ages 8 to 16, got a chance to race through the store.
"Everyday 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," said Johnson.
"I got a TV, a Blueberry player and some games and an iPod," said one child.
Johnson gave the kids a chance to fill their carts with everything from games and gadgets to bicycles and Barbies.
"A Barbie Dream House, rap star, a Nerf gun for my brother, a princess thing, a dream light and a horse," said Makena Fruia.
As Johnson quietly watched, a grandmother of one of the children asked him if she could have a hug. Johnson obliged and the grandmother thanked him for his generosity. She's just one of the many parents and grandparents who told him they were overwhelmed with gratitude.
"This is a blessing. He is such a good guy. I really appreciate it, you know from the bottom of my heart," said another grandmother, Micheale Stringer.
But the generosity didn't stop there. A few hours later and a few miles away, another 800 students at Bastian Elementary School were chanting Johnson's name. The football player and the Houston Police Department's Blue Santa program provided each student with an early Christmas gift.
"It's just part of me. It's a part of my life now, so it's just something I look forward to doing every year," Johnson told us.
He and his foundation partnered with Blue Santa to raise funds and awareness for those underprivileged children.
The morning ended with a special surprise for all the kids wearing Johnson's jersey or a t-shirt with his number 80. The Texans star surprised those kids with a $100 gift certificate to Toys R Us.
Just in case you're wondering how generous of a shopping spree the kids had at the toy store, the bill was more than $19,000. That means each child averaged just over $1,600 in gifts for themselves and their siblings.
houston texans, nfl, local, demond fernandez
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