NFL star drops $19k on charity shopping spree for kids

Jay Busbee | Shutdown Corner, Yahoo!7 December 5, 2012, 9:50 am

Here's an NFL story designed to warm your heart and terrify your wallet. Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, one of the league's unquestioned good guys, on Tuesday performed what's becoming an annual ritual for him: a Toys "R" Us shopping spree for at-risk youth in Houston.

Johnson's Foundation, the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation, funded the spree, in which 12 children selected by Child Protective Services had 80 seconds to fill up their carts with as many toys as they could. And oh, could they fill those carts.

"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," Johnson said afterward. You can see his gargantuan receipt in the photo at left.

The children, ranging in ages from 8 to 16, have all suffered parental abuse in some form and now live with extended family members. But each child made sure to purchase toys for siblings and other relatives as well.

Johnson's foundation performs several works throughout the year for children in both Houston and Johnson's Miami hometown. But he told the team's website that it's the Toys "R" Us event that he enjoys the most.

"I think it's probably the best one because you get to see the kids really enjoy it," he said. "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 the spree, Johnson also joined the Houston Police Department's Blue Santa program to surprise 800 students at Houston's Bastian Elementary School with Christmas presents.

Johnson stressed that he had traveled the path many of these kids were on, and he hoped they could learn from his example: "I grew up in a single-parent home and I was fortunate to achieve my goals," he said. "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."

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  1. Scott09:42pm Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    nice guy for doing that shame more of them dont most of them have more money then they will ever need

  2. Inderjeet09:40pm Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Good on ya mate..!!! Actually, one can use his/her popularity and mind to set up a good business as well and further donate from the profitssssssss...!!!!

  3. ---07:46pm Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Great positive comments too! I notice nobody has copped any thumbs pointing south at this stage :)

  4. OzExpert03:11pm Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Well done...well done! Finally some news worth reading.

  5. Gavin02:31pm Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    The sad thing is that this guy is probably only moderately wealthy. Just think of what the real rich could do!

  6. Robert01:45pm Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Lets hope that other sports star ,who are financial to follow suit and do the same ,A nice example of generosity well done.

  7. Jeffrey01:33pm Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    what a good bloke- should be lots more of it- many of these sports stars can afford to do this, but not that many do- this guy is shining example....good on you sir and a Merry Christmas to you ! :-)

  8. Suzanne01:27pm Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    So good to hear positive reports like this. The news is always focusing on the bad, never about the good. This should have been a headline article, but alas, sorrow and misery are always what sells. I applaud him for doing the right thing, even though he doesn't have to. It fills my heart to think there are some genuinely compassionate people left in this world.