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New home 'dream come true' for mother, son


The dream of home ownership came true on Tuesday for a single Houston mother, thanks to a $50,000 donation from Texans Ahman Green and Jason Simmons and team owner Bob McNair.

Regina Foster, whose seven-year-old son, Reggie, battles severe autism, moved into her new house in the Alief area after months of waiting culminated in a heart-warming ribbon-cutting ceremony on her new front lawn.

Green and Simmons had given Foster the surprise of a lifetime back in July, showing up unannounced at her workplace with a giant $50,000 check in her name (


click here to read more about the announcement). Foster had been desperate for a stable home in which to raise her son, and the players selected her for the award from a pool of applicants as part of a unique jersey exchange settlement between Simmons and Green.

Surprise was about the only thing missing from this touching ceremony, with the players and their wives, Foster's family and friends, corporate sponsors and TORO and the Texans Cheerleaders all on hand to see Foster and her son move into the house.

"We're just happy that this finally happened – we're happy that Regina got in this home," Simmons said. "It was always just our vision, me and Ahman, that this would take place.

"We're overwhelmed to see her just to see her home. It's really a dream come true. We know it is for her, but it is for us as well."

In the weeks and months it took Foster to find the right home in the right school district that could tend to Reggie's needs, several outside parties caught word of the situation and jumped on board with whatever they could offer.

Reliant Energy will provide one year's worth of free electricity to Foster's home. Gallery Furniture supplied furnishings for several rooms in the house. Comcast provided a full year's worth of its Triple Play package, which includes cable, high-speed Internet and digital phone service. And HEB Grocery Company stocked the kitchen pantry and brought cooks over for the ribbon cutting to prepare Foster's first meal in her new home.

"It does my heart very well and I know it does Jason's and everybody up here's hearts very well to have this day for Regina and her son and her family," Green said. "You can't say every day you get to walk into a home, your first home, your new home and have it fully stocked, have furniture, have food and everything you need.

"I feel great to be doing this. It's easy to do because our jobs sometimes are made difficult by what we do on the field good and bad every day, and every now and then we get something like this that happens and it does us well. It makes us feel good, makes us rest a little bit easier that we are actually getting a chance to do some of the things that we want to do, not just play football but give back to the community that we live in."

{QUOTE}A grateful Foster was nearly at a loss for words.

"I would like to say thank you to Ahman, Jason and Mr. McNair for making my dream come true and that's purchasing a home for Reggie in the district that can accommodate his needs," she said, fighting back tears. "And I promise you guys, I will not let you down. Thank you so much."

It all started back when Green was signed by the Texans in the offseason and called Simmons asking what it would take to get his number 30.

"He was wondering how much it would cost," Simmons said. "And I didn't want anything, just any monetary thing from your teammate. It just doesn't seem right to be in the locker room with a guy you just took $20,000 from – it just doesn't seem right for a number."

Instead, Simmons asked Green to pay $25,000 – for a down payment on a home for a single parent in Houston. McNair agreed to match that, making the total $50,000.

Green initially was taken aback by the idea. The nine-year veteran had been around the league long enough to see plenty of jersey exchanges, and had assumed he would have to sign a check over to Simmons, give him cash or buy him a watch. But both players ultimately couldn't bypass the opportunity to invest in a family's future, and they're ecstatic with the decision after seeing Regina and Reggie in a house they can call their own for the first time.

"This thing here was always on my heart," Simmons said. "We're just so happy for it to finally come to fruition that she's in this house and we're here and we're celebrating it. We're excited about it."

Simmons got the idea from seeing what other players around the league, such as Atlanta's Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay's Derrick Brooks and Green Bay's Donald Driver, have done, and said he hopes he has started an annual event for the Texans.

Green, who has worked with autism charities for years and is currently involved in the "Houston Tackles Autism" campaign with quarterback Matt Schaub, also hopes this idea will spread to other teams around the league.

"This is about being together, and that's what me and Jason and the Texans, that's what we do as a team," Green said. "We're a family with the community and help out with whatever need that we have. Hopefully, we can kick off something around the NFL because players get traded every year, every offseason. You never know, this stuff could grow into something a lot bigger."

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