Texans' Johnson surprises students with new bikes

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson surprised Bastian Elementary students with new bikes and helmets just in time for Christmas. (Andy Cerota)
December 13, 2011 3:21:35 PM PST
Dozens of lucky students at Bastian Elementary School in southeast Houston got their Christmas presents early, and you'll never guess who was there to help out.

Santa's little helper was none other than Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and he did not go there empty handed.

Christmas came early for the students at Bastian Elementary. First, a surprise visit from some Houston Texans cheerleaders, followed by the moment they have all been waiting for -- a visit from Texans WR Andre Johnson.

"I told you guys that when I came back that I was going to have a surprise for you guys," Johnson said to the students.

He had two surprises actually. Up first were Christmas presents courtesy of HPD's Blue Santa program. The second was for a select group of students -- 60 brand new bikes and helmets. It's all part of Academy Sports and Outdoors 10th Annual Bike Donation Program.

"These 60 kids were picked based on good grades, good attendance, good citizenship and need," said Bruce Goffney, Bastian Elementary School principal.

Johnson was compelled to get involved because growing up he saw too many of his friends go without during the holidays.

"I always said once I was in a position where I was able to give back that I would," said Johnson.

For a lot of these kids, this may be all that they get this Christmas.

"I think that Andre Johnson is, like, the best," said student Arayna Garcia.

To say they are grateful would be an understatement.

"He's the best thing that ever happened to my life because I never had a bike this cute, ever, in my life. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me," said student Grace Rodriguez.

"This is the best bike I've ever had. This is a Christmas to remember for me," said student Keiddrick Fizer.

Johnson comes to Bastian about three times a year just to spend time with the kids. He says the fact that the Texans made it to the playoffs for the first time ever made today even better. Students seemed to be a bit more energized.

The Texans wide receiver has been working with Bastian since his second year in the league after someone in his foundation hooked him up with the school.

And Johnson had a busy day. He started bright and early at a toy store for his annual shopping spree at Toys R Us. Child Protective Services selects children to take part in the event.

Johnson coaches them on their shopping skills and then they have 80 seconds to grab anything and everything they can. At the end of the excitement, Johnson foots the bill.

Of all the events he takes part in, Johnson says this is one of his favorites.


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