Professional athletes are usually spotted conducting extravagant shopping sprees, but the Houston Texans’ Andre Johnson has broken this myth by spending almost $20,000 on needy children living in the city.
Johnson has made this an annual event, which has lead for the last 7 Christmases. 12 specific children are chosen by Child Protective Services in Houston and then Johnson allows them to go on a huge shopping spree around Toys R Us.
In honor of Johnson’s No. 80, he then gives them 80 seconds to fill up their shopping carts with everything that they can grab.
The children are also teamed up with a Texans cheerleader, who assist them by getting toys off higher shelves, and racing through the store too. In addition to whatever they place inside their trollies, each child is also guaranteed an entertainment system of their choice, as well as two games.
Johnson explained why he conducts this life-affirming act of generosity to the Texans’ website, stating, “I remember times where I wasn’t able to get things that I wanted. It just gives them a chance to go through the store and get whatever they want. They don’t have to ask anybody for it. Whatever they have on their Christmas list they can pick up.”
He also added, “It’s the holiday season. It’s time for giving. People that know me know I have a big heart and I like to give back and help people out. That’s why I do what I do.”
This was the seventh annual holiday shopping spree conducted by Johnson, and the entire bill was footed by the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation.
But what did the tab come to? Well it rang in at exactly $17,352, which was a few hundred dollars short of last year’s sum.
However, it’s unlikely that any of the kids returned home disconsolate with their haul. The dozen children are given time to scope out the shop, and they each devise a plan before Johnson begins the timer. But they’re not selfish, and all of them make sure that they grab gifts for their friends and family too.
“The kids have done that every year,” he said. “That’s big of them. That just shows there in a blessed situation to come and get whatever they want, and they’re not thinking of themselves. That’s a great deed by them.”
You can check out images of Johnson with his mammoth receipt below. Is Andre Johnson now your favorite football player?