Early this week, the Houston Texans were busy in the community, giving back to youth around the city.
Monday evening inside the Methodist Training Center, a handful of Texans, spearheaded by linebacker Connor Barwin, spoke to more than 100 children about the benefits of playing for at least an hour a day as part of the NFL Play 60 campaign. In conjunction with DairyMax, Barwin and friends put the children from the Houston Texans YMCA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston through physical drills and also discussed the benefits of healthy eating. For the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Month, it was an enjoyable experience.
"This is a great thing the Texans put on," Barwin said. "Kids love video games now, but they were around when we were a kid, too. I think kids and parents are starting to understand that they need to get kids out playing."
Linebacker Darryl Sharpton also took part in the event, and harkened back to the days of his youth, when he was impacted by pro football players as well.
"It's fun, and their minds are just open to learning," Sharpton said. "I remember when I was their age, NFL players were my heroes. Everything they would say, I took it to heart. I hope what I say they can take it to heart and build with it in the future."
Center Chris Myers agreed, and stressed the value—and downright fun—of getting out of the house.
"You remember back when you were a kid, and just living outside daily," Myers said. "That's what we want to keep preaching. It's something to live by."
Meanwhile, Tuesday morning downtown at Houston Police Department headquarters, wide receiver Andre Johnson took part in an announcement about the Blue Santa program. Thousands of economically disadvantaged children throughout the city receive toys for Christmas from the program, and it's the second year Johnson has been involved. It's one of many ways he gives back to the community, and he described the impact a toy can have on a kid's life.
"I think it has a big impact on them," Johnson said. "You never know exactly how it affects them, but a lot of times, some kids aren't able to get anything for Christmas. But to be able to make sure that they at least get something, that means a lot to me."