At 8:30 am on Tuesday, December 2nd, Andre Johnson, the Houston Texans wide receiver, walked into a Toys ‘R’ Us near Reliant Stadium in Houston, to find kids waiting for him.
Because each year, Johnson sponsors an event that spreads Christmas cheer to “children ages 8-16 from the Harris County Department of Family Protective Services.” The kids arrive at the Toys ‘R’ Us and for 80 seconds, run around the store, collecting as many toys as they can (the ones they want, that is), in a shopping cart. At the end of the 80 seconds, Andre Johnson takes each child to the register and buys everything in their carts, including a video gaming system and video games. Johnson began this event after her dad gave him the idea in 2007. He was skeptical that the kids could get enough stuff the first time they tried, and was floored by t
heir gratitude, and their speed! And this year was no difference. Bringing joy to these children is important to him, and the pricetag doesn’t matter. In 2013, he spent $17,352 and this year he spent $16,266.26.
As a professional football player, that isn’t much to spend on making the Christmases of children in Houston. Johnson has played for the Texans since 2003, and has proved to be a powerful asset to the team. While still a young team, the 33 year old received for 882 yards this season alone, with 13,463 in his career with the Texans, according to his Houston Texans player profile.
As a huge success, Johnson didn’t need to sponsor an event like this for the past seven years, but he did anyway. He even says, “I remember times where I wasn’t able to get things that I wanted.”
Andre Johnson reminds us this holiday that it is always more important to give than receive. These kids got their Christmas wish this year because of one man’s desire to help. Maybe spending $16,000 on Christmas presents isn’t the most reasonable thing for you to do, but we should all do something. Thanks Andre Johnson, for proving that Christmas miracles do still exist.