Texans lend a hand at food bank

HOUSTON That didn't stop the Houston Texans' first-round draft pick from spending his day off Tuesday at the Houston Food Bank, filling boxes with food to be distributed to families who need help in the wake of the storm.

"I was very fortunate in the sense that I didn't have any property damage or anything like that," he said. "I'm around a lot of people who are able to help me out and I know a lot of people don't have that. I just wanted to come out here and show my support and show the city of Houston that I do care a lot about what they're going through."

Brown was one of dozens of Texans players, staff and cheerleaders who braved nearly 90 degree temperatures with stifling humidity to pack boxes in a lot in front of the food bank.

Sweat streamed off players' faces as they loaded rice, water, cereal and other essentials into the boxes for more than two hours. Some used the bottoms of their shirts to wipe sweat out of their eyes in between tasks.

"The heat is not a factor," the 329-pound Brown said, his shirt soaked with sweat. "To know that all this is going to a good cause is enough to block out the heat for me."

Coach Gary Kubiak's wife Rhonda was one of the volunteers Tuesday. She helped load canned beans into the boxes and encouraged other volunteers with kind words and a huge smile.

Like more than 600,000 others in the area, the Kubiak house also remains without power.

"I feel very blessed because I have a roof over my head," she said during a break. "It's just a way to give back to Houston and the whole gulf area. There is so much suffering, you have to do something."

Backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels said he was glad to volunteer.

"We're doing something that needs to be done and that's helping people in need," he said. "We all saw firsthand the damage and destruction that happened to people. There's a lot of people without homes and for us living the type of lifestyle we live, it's a pretty easy choice to come and help out."

While his players and staff busily worked behind him Tuesday, Texans owner Bob McNair announced that grocery store chain H.E.B. had donated $100,000 to get him closer to the goal of raising $2 million for hurricane relief. McNair announced Sunday that he is giving $500,000, with the NFL and NFL Players Association matching that amount. Chevron Corporation added $250,000, which brings the total raised to $1.35 million.

He's hoping other corporations in the area will contribute to the fund that will be split evenly between the Houston Ike Relief Fund and the United Way.

McNair said he was proud to see players including Kasey Studdard, Chris Myers and Anthony Weaver out helping the community.

"It's just wonderful to see them take their time off to help," said the billionaire, who also helped pack boxes. "They've had a tough couple of weeks and this is their day off and instead of going out and relaxing and trying to get away from other things, they're here helping people who have suffered from the hurricane."

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