Keeping the great news coming today because we need it!
Since 2007, Andre Johnson, wide receiver for the Houston Texans, has made it a tradition to host a holiday shopping spree for at-risk and children in need. He works with the Texas chapter of Child Protective Services for a drive held at a local Toys R Us store to allow as many as 12 kids get eighty seconds to fill a cart with as many goodies as possible. Johnson also foots the bill himself and this year he spent a staggering $16, 266.26!
Through CPS, twelve kids from Harris County who were chosen to experience Johnson’s event ranged in ages 8-16 and all came from broken homes where they suffered abuse. Though they have since been relocated with trusted family members and guardians, Johnson’s drive is another way for the Texans player to give back to the community and spread awareness of child abuse and/or endangerment.
“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. 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.” Johnson recalls. The kids are also thinking as they grab gifts for siblings and other closed loved ones. Are you tearing up yet?
One attendee of this year’s drive, Barbara Stubbs, expressed how grateful she was for Johnson’s altruism. She is currently the guardian for her grand-niece Heather. “I think it’s awesome; I really appreciate this. It’s by the grace of God they called us, and I’ll tell everyone I know we had a shopping spree with Andre Johnson. Heather is so, so happy.”
He’s been nicknamed #AndreClause by the official Texans website, and it looked to be another victory for the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation, which holds numerous community projects in Texas and his hometown of Miami.
Johnson says: “I just enjoy doing it,” Johnson said. “… I always felt like if I was ever to make it, I wanted to give back. You go through stuff as a kid growing up. You understand certain situations. I understand some of the things these kids go through.”
After all the horrible news we’ve nearly grown accustomed to these days, news stories like these are necessary reminders that there are many concerned citizens out there are still passionate about community service and spreading positivity and inspiration.