Andre Johnson is used to measuring speed in tenths of a second. Tuesday he measured it in dollars and cents.
The Texans wide receiver hosted a holiday shopping spree at a Houston Toys “R” Us Tuesday, allowing 12 children selected by Child Protective Services 80 seconds to stuff as much as they could into a shopping cart.
The damage? A mile-long receipt for $19,521, paid for by Johnson and the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation.
“You hear a minute and twenty seconds and you don’t think that’s a long time, but you’d be surprised by what these kids can put into their buckets,” Johnson told HoustonTexans.com.
All 12 of the children who participated Tuesday had been exposed to parental abuse in one form or another, and live with someone other than their parents.
“I really appreciate this,” said Barbara Stubbs, whose grandniece Heather was among the 12. “It’s by the grace of God they called us, and I’ll tell everyone I know we had a shopping spree with Andre Johnson. Heather is so, so happy.”
Johnson, a Miami native who does charitable work in his hometown as well, empathizes with children who have tough backgrounds.
“A lot of these kids get discouraged because of where they grew up and things like that,” he told the Texans’ website. “I grew up in a single-parent home and I was fortunate to achieve my goals. So, whatever goals you have, just keep them out in front of you, don’t let anybody distract you away from them, because there will be distractions that try to detour you away from your goals. That’s the biggest thing.”