Houston Texans take kids on shopping sprees

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December 10, 2013 5:23:39 PM PST
Andre Johnson is again proving why he is one of the most beloved athletes in Houston sports history. On Tuesday, he played Santa Claus for a school full of kids.

The Texans superstar, HPD Chief Charles McClelland and Blue Santa program volunteers handed out Christmas presents to children at Bastian Elementary School. Johnson came from humble beginnings in Florida and promised to help others one day.

"I just remember as a kid not being able, you know, to have certain things," Johnson said. "I know kids are in tough situations, so I'm in a blessed situation and I'm able to help others. I always said if I'm able to make it, you know, I would always give back to the community."

On Tuesday morning, Johnson spent more than $17,000 on a toy shopping spree for at-risk children.

HPD's Blue Santa program originated 20 years ago as officers on the streets identified kids in need during the holidays.

Also on Tuesday, Texnas rookies and kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Houston went on a shopping spree at the Academy on Shepherd.

Rookies DJ Swearinger and DeAndre Hopkins say it was fun to keep up with the kids as they found the things they really wanted.

"Words can't really express from the excitement that you get from giving someone else joy," said Hopkins.

"It's like the chance of a lifetime that I can actually get anything I want that he gave me. I appreciate it," said shopper Merek Draper.

"Anytime you can help and give back, whether it's the holidays or whether it anytime, just wants to do it, it's good for them," Swearinger said.

One girl who got to shop with DJ says she was just as excited to meet a Texans player as she was to go shopping with him.

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