Andre Johnson hasn’t had much to celebrate in 2013. A highly-publicized, sideline shouting match with quarterback Matt Schaub, a franchise-worst 11-game losing streak and the dismissal of his head coach have all marred an otherwise productive season for the Texans’ wideout. But Johnson hasn’t let Houston’s league-worst record affect his charitable pursuits - and for that – the six-time Pro Bowler deserves some credit.
On Tuesday, Johnson played host to a dozen kids for an all-expenses paid shopping spree at a Toys R Us near Reliant Stadium. The children, all enrolled in the Harris County Department of Family Protective Services, were given 80 seconds – in honor of Johnson’s jersey number - to stuff a shopping cart as full as they possibly could.
“I remember times where I wasn’t able to get things that I wanted,” Johnson told reporters. “This just gives them a chance to go though the store and get whatever they want. They don’t have to ask nobody for it. Whatever they have on their Christmas list, they can pick up.”
After the 80 seconds had passed, cashiers took the better part of an hour to process all the items. Then came payment time, and Johnson stepped up again. The positive vibes Johnson enjoyed Tuesday morning were a welcome change during a season mired in frustration and failure.
“This whole situation is totally different,” Johnson added. “It’s the holiday season, it’s time for giving. People that know me, know I have a big heart and that I like to give back and help out.”