Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson hosted his seventh annual holiday shopping spree at Toys "R" Us on Tuesday morning. The event gives 12 children selected by Child Protective Services 80 seconds to fill their bins with as many items as possible, compliments of the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation.
Each youngster paired up with a Houston Texans Cheerleader and raced through the aisles, stocking up on merchandise ranging from dolls to scooters to iPads. Every child was also guaranteed an entertainment system of their choice and two video games.
"I remember times where I wasn't able to get things that I wanted," Johnson said. "It just gives them a chance to go through the store and get whatever they want. They don't have to ask anybody for it. Whatever they have on their Christmas list they can pick up."
Eighty seconds was enough time for a dozen kids to do some damage, as Johnson's foundation picked up the $17,352 tab on a receipt about a mile long.
"I think he's awesome for doing this," one of the participants, Arlyssa, said after picking up her dream Christmas list. "I like toys and shopping."
"I think I was a little bit more into than she was," Houston Texans Cheerleader Gelesann joked. "It was so much fun. We're so thankful to have players like Andre on our team."
Similar to the way the Texans prepare to face an opposing team, many of the children had scoped out the area and formulated a game plan. Not surprising to Johnson, all of the kids made a point to grab gifts for their siblings, as well.
"The kids have done that every year," Johnson said. "That's big of them. That just shows there in a blessed situation to come and get whatever they want, and they're not just thinking of themselves. That's a great deed by them."
The Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation hosts a number of community events for children in the Houston area and in Johnson's hometown of Miami. For Johnson, the Toys "R" Us event ranks among the top.
"It's the holiday season, it's time for giving. People who know me know I have a good heart and like to give back and help people out. That's just why I do what I do."