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Rookies take deserving youth shopping


Christmas came early for 28 underprivileged youth in Houston; however, instead of Santa Claus bearing gifts, it was the Texans' rookies.

Running back Steve Slaton, linebacker Xavier Adibi, safety Dominique Barber, left tackle Duane Brown, cornerback Antwaun Molden, defensive end Jesse Nading, defensive tackle Frank Okam, wide receiver Darnell Jenkins and quarterback Alex Brink presented the deserving children with $100 gift cards donated by Academy Sport Outdoors.

The best part of the gift: Each rookie teamed up with several kids for a shopping spree in the store.

"The game plan was for them to shop and each had $100 to spend on the certificate," Molden. "It was an experience. They wanted things. They wanted to put things back. It was all fun. It was all love. I'm glad to see the kids happy."

{QUOTE}The children certainly were all smiles with the Texans helping them pick out athletic apparel and equipment.

"I kind of just said, 'Go pick out a bunch of stuff and at the end, we'll figure out your top three and we'll go for there,'" Barber said.

"I wanted to make sure they got their first choice first, and that's what they did. And I think they got what they wanted."

Barber even helped his group test out some items like a hula hoop.

"That's probably not my best sport, but it was fun," he said.

Slaton's group was more interested in footballs, all of which he and the rookies signed for the children at the end of the day.

"It's awesome," Slaton said. "You really don't get to spend that much time with kids during the season. To come out in the community and spend time with these kids is a plus."

Brown agreed, saying a day of shopping had never been so fun and meaningful.

"Around this time of the year, you want to be able to go out and have a big spending limit and get you what you want," he said. "To see these guys out here pick out stuff and know they are going to enjoy it for months, maybe years, is a great feeling."

For Molden, the hardest part of the event was helping the kids decide which presents they should keep. And that was a good problem to have.

"I think words can't explain it," Molden said. "You have to be here to see the looks on the kids faces. It's just a great opportunity to come out here and see them happy."

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