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Andre Johnson takes at-risk kids on $19,521 shopping spree

December 05, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson spread the holiday spirit this week by hosting a shopping spree for a group of Houston-area at-risk children.
Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson spread the holiday spirit this week… (Patric Schneider / Associated…)

Andre Johnson has helped the Houston Texans put together what could end up being a very special season. He's the leading receiver on a squad that has already set a franchise record for regular-season wins and is looking like the team to beat in the AFC with the playoffs not far away.

Johnson has also helped a bunch of children enjoy a very special holiday season by hosting his annual Toys "R" Us shopping spree Tuesday in Houston. A group of 12 kids selected by Child Protective Services were given 80 seconds to fill their shopping carts with as many items as they could. Every child was also guaranteed an entertainment system of their choice and a pair of video games.

The final bill of $19,521 was footed by the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation.

“You hear a minute and twenty seconds and you don’t think that’s a long time, but you’d be surprised by what these kids can put into their buckets,” Johnson said.

Each child chosen for the event has suffered through some sort of parental abuse and is now living with an extended family member. This day offered some relief from that reality, as a bunch of giddy children raced through the aisles and filled their carts with everything from Barbie dream houses to digital cameras for themselves as well as gifts for family members.

“That’s what this season is about," Johnson said. "It’s something I look forward to. The kids are happy, they get what they want for Christmas, and that’s all that matters. “

Johnson added that he hopes the event can have a lasting impression on the youngsters, long after they lose interest in whatever tangible items they received from the shopping spree.

“A lot of these kids get discouraged because of where they grew up and things like that," Johnson said. "I grew up in a single-parent home and I was fortunate to achieve my goals. So, whatever goals you have, just keep them out in front of you, don’t let anybody distract you away from them, because there will be distractions that try to detour you away from your goals. That’s the biggest thing.”

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