Texans trio donates 1,000 Thanksgiving meals

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Thanks to the efforts Andre Johnson, Dunta Robinson and DeMeco Ryans, the Thanksgiving holiday will be a little bit brighter this year for 1,000 Houston families.

The three players partnered with H-E-B to donate 1,000 Thanksgiving dinners at the Fifth Ward Church of Christ on Tuesday.

"Everybody's not fortunate," Johnson said. "Some people are in tough situations, and we're in very blessed situations. So this is our way of blessing other people."

After arriving at the church from practice, the players helped volunteers from H-E-B and the church to hand out bags full of cranberry sauce, rolls, green beans, cake mix and just about every other trimming imaginable for a delicious Thanksgiving meal.

Texans linebacker Kevin Bentley, cornerback Fred Bennett, safety Nick Ferguson and defensive tackle Frank Okam also lent a hand at the event.

"I helped them with it last year and I had a good time seeing all the smiles that we put on the people's faces, so I told them I would come out again," Bentley said. "We're just happy we can help out."

{QUOTE}It was the third consecutive year that Johnson and Ryans had teamed up for the event. Robinson joined their efforts last year and was glad to be involved once again.

"We're fortunate enough where we can bring a smile to people's faces, and that's all we're trying to do today," Robinson said. "With the economy the way it is right now, a lot of people can't afford a Thanksgiving, so to be able to bless somebody and their family... it makes us smile and makes us feel good inside."

Ryans is a member of the Fifth Ward Church of Christ community. He has been attending services there since joining the Texans in 2006, and church minister Gary Smith said that Ryans frequently attends evening services on Sundays when the Texans have early games.

"It's even more special to be able to come back to this church, this community I come to church at," Ryans said. "To do it here and see faces that I know, familiar faces and see the smiles that we're putting on the faces, it's a real special feeling."

The meals were distributed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 50 volunteers from H-E-B arrived at the church at 8 a.m. to set up for the event, handling logistics and preparing the many bags of food.

"This is (the players') event," H-E-B public affairs specialist Lacey Dalcour said. "They call us if we need help logistically with volunteers or food, and we're always there to help."

Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at *twitter.com/NickScurfield or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at imatexan.com/profiles/Nick_Scurf/*.

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