Skip to main content

Giving thanks with 'Dre and DeMeco


Wide receiver Andre Johnson and linebacker DeMeco Ryans have a lot to be thankful for these days.

After a victory over the Saints, their team has improved to the best record the Texans have had after 10 games. Johnson has recovered from a knee sprain and returned to the starting lineup. Ryans is putting together a Pro Bowl season.

With so many blessings in their lives, the star players wanted to reach out and help bless the lives of others.

"We are fortunate to be blessed to be in the position where we are," Ryans said. "We are playing in the NFL, and I think it's always important for us to give back to the community."

His teammate felt the same way.

"It means a lot to give back to the community in Houston," Johnson said. "This is my second home. This is something I said I wanted to do when I got in this position. I wanted to reach out to the community."

Johnson and Ryans did just that Tuesday by partnering with HEB to buy 200 Thanksgiving dinners with fixings for families living in the Third Ward. Johnson and Ryans selected the area because both are passionate about reaching out to communities in need that reside close to Reliant Stadium.

"This is a huge event for us because we have this avenue to give back to the Third Ward community, which is right here near us," Ryans said.

The Third Ward residents who participated are regular recipients of two local food banks, the Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church Pantry and the MANNA House/Third Ward Pantry.

"At first, I wanted to feed 80 families because I wear number 80 and DeMeco wanted to do the same thing, so we thought to just make it an even 200," Johnson said.

{QUOTE}Each participant received a turkey, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce and brownie mix. Johnson and Ryans handed out most of the meals, but they had plenty of help throughout the day.

The Jack Yates High School football team, which has not lost a game all season, bagged groceries and carried bags for residents needing assistance. Many of the Yates players said they looked to the Texans as role models for what they do on and off the field.

"It was a blessing to be able to meet professional players and be able to help them give back to the community," said Yates offensive tackles Leroy Chevalier. "If I make it to their level, I will give back – give back to where I came from."

Defensive end Earl Cochran, linebacker Morlon Greenwood and quarterback Shane Boyd came to support their Texans' teammates and hand out grocery bags in the Third Ward Multi-Purpose Center.

"I feel like it is part of our job to give back to help other people and let them know we care," Boyd said. "We've been blessed with our skills and our abilities to do what we do, so I feel it's our obligation to go back and bless those who are in situations that are less fortunate."

Members of the Texans Cheerleaders brought some team spirit to the event and even got involved in bagging and distributing.

"It's Thanksgiving, the time and season of giving, and what better way than to come out here and deliver groceries to families that are in need and help make their Thanksgiving worthwhile and something to remember," Ashley G. said.

Johnson and Ryans were thankful for the help, but they were most excited to see the participants' faces light up when they received a turkey dinner.

"It's just special to see the looks on the families' faces as they're taking their food and groceries with them," Ryans said "It's an awesome feeling to know that you're really doing something to help someone in need."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content