Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson recently spent $19,000 on Christmas gifts for children. His nonprofit The Andrew Johnson Foundation holds an annual event, and this year, the group sponsored 80 second shopping sprees for 11 kids who were in Texas’ Child Protective Services. The kids were allowed to grab as many toys as the could during the shopping spree and also received a bike and a gaming system.
In a statement, Johnson talked about the 80 second spree, stating, “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.” The 12 children ranged in age from 8 years-old to 16-years-old. One of the touching things about the children is that they all made sure they purchased gifts for siblings and other relatives.
This is the 8th year Johnson has held the event, and each year he has spent around $20,000 on gifts for at-risk children. In a statement on the foundation’s website, Johnson says the he enjoys the Toys “R” Us event the most out of all of the events the foundation hosts, stating, “I think it’s probably the best one because you get to see the kids really enjoy it. 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.”
After completing the Toys “R” Us shopping spree, Johnson participated in the Houston Police Department’s Blue Santa program where 800 students from a local elementary school were surprised with Christmas gifts. Johnson feels like he can identify with at risk children because he grew up in a single parent home. Johnson says that he hopes his example and giving back helps children realize that they can reach their goals if they stay focused and determined.