WHO: Jadeveon Clowney, five Houston Texans cheerleaders, and mascot Toro.
WHAT: A shopping spree for LaKeith, Jacob, Kyandria, Jackie, Jonathan, and Ezekiel Harris this Thanksgiving.
WHY IT’S SO GREAT: Earlier this year, a fire destroyed the Harris family’s home. Afterwards, the four kids in the family and their grandmother moved into a small house with their aunt and her two kids, making for eight people in one home. That’s a tough thing to deal with at any time of year, but it’s especially difficult at the holidays. A shopping spree at the Palais Royal department store in Meyerland can’t fix all of that, but it can bring some cheer to a tough situation—and that’s what Clowney, the Texans cheerleaders, and the team’s mascot offered on November 13. According to the Houston Chronicle, the family met representatives from Palais Royal through Thanksgiving meal deliveries in 2017. This year, the department store worked to provide the Harrises with replacements for some of what was lost in the fire and some items from their Christmas list (along with a Thanksgiving dinner).
Kids’ Meals Houston feeds around 1,600 families at the holidays, and the Texans players have a history of charity. Deshaun Watson donated his entire first paycheck to a cafeteria worker in the team’s facility, while J.J. Watt famously raised tens of millions of dollars for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Many sports teams at least pay lip service to their city’s communities, but the relationship between Houston’s athletes and the city they play in is special, especially post-Harvey. The people of Houston, including the Harris family, have endured a lot in the past couple years, but when they cheer for their teams, they get to cheer for more than just a uniform. Clowney and the cheerleaders are continuing part of one of the city’s best traditions.