Andre Johnson was named a finalist for the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his outstanding community service and excellence on the field.
On Tuesday morning, the NFL announced the 32 players nominated by each team. As a nominee, Johnson will receive a $1,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to the charity of his choice. This year's winner will be announced during the "Fourth Annual NFL Honors" awards show on Saturday, January 31 and will receive an additional $20,000 donation to a charity in his name.
The two-time All-pro recently spent $16,266 during his annual Toys "R" Us holiday shopping spree, giving 11 children selected by Child Protective Services 80 seconds to fill their bins with as many toys as possible. For Thanksgiving, he gave out turkeys to families in need in Houston's Fifth Ward. Those two events, plus a third he hosts in the Miami area, are his favorite events each year.
"Back home, we call it the Andre Johnson Community Day," Johnson said on Tuesday's Verizon Players show on Texans Radio. "I just have a big barbeque for the neighborhood I grew up in. We have a lot of rides, bounce houses, and a big picnic where everybody just comes out and has fun. I get to see a lot of people I went to elementary school with and it's pretty fun. It's right across the street from my elementary school, the same park I grew up playing on."
Johnson gives back to the community year-round, serving as a positive role model and helping to empower at-risk youth through the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation.
The overall winner of the Walter Payton award will be selected by a panel of judges, including Commissioner Roger Goodell, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Sports Illustrated's Peter King, Connie Payton, Frank Gifford, Anthony Munoz, and the 2013 winner Charles Tillman.