HOUSTON -- When Regina Foster tells her son Reginald they're
finally moving from an apartment to their own home, the 7-year-old
with autism likely won't comprehend what that means.
But when he sees the backyard, he'll be happy and that's all
that matters to Foster, a single mom.
"He'll respond to that," she said with a smile.
Foster's dream of home ownership is coming true thanks to Ahman Green and the Houston Texans. On Monday, Green made good on a
promise to make the down payment on a home for a single parent in
exchange for reclaiming his No. 30 from teammate Jason Simmons.
"This is for Reggie," Foster said, tears running down her
cheeks when she was surprised at work by Green and Simmons. "He
needs it. Kids with autism can't adapt well to change, so it will
be wonderful to have something we don't have to ever leave."
Foster received a check for $50,000, with Green donating $25,000
and Texans owner Bob McNair contributing the rest.
"You definitely deserve it and we're happy to do it," Green
said as Foster thanked him while hugging him repeatedly.
Foster, who works for a mortgage company, was chosen from five
finalists who met strict criteria that included a pledge to do 100
hours of community service and contribute at least $1,500 toward
the down payment.
"I always wanted to use my star power to help people," said
Green, who signed as free agent with the Texans after playing in
Green Bay since 2000. "When we have the opportunity to do that
it's just overwhelming."
Foster said she knew nothing about football and reluctantly
admitted she wasn't a Texans fan.
"I just became one," she joked, adding that she'll dedicate
Reggie's room to the Texans. Green said they'd donate Texans gear
for the room.
Simmons, who came up with the idea when Green approached him
about the number he'd worn since the inception of the franchise,
had to fight back tears during the presentation.
"This is emotional," Simmons said. "When I thought of this I
couldn't have imagined anything on this level. The best part is
that she's not worried about herself, she wants a place for her
Green said part of the reason why Foster was chosen was because
he learned through work with Easter Seals the difficulties and
expense of caring for a child with special needs.
Foster has been trying to buy a house for some time to provide
her son more stability and give him a backyard in which to play.
She quickly found that her lack of money for a down payment would
make such a purchase difficult and had put her plans on hold until
"I had been getting discouraged," she said. "I couldn't
afford the down payment, but because of them I can finally do
Madeline Jones, a friend and co-worker of Foster's, said Foster
was a hard worker and she couldn't think of anyone who deserved
"Her son is her life," Jones said. "This is a dream come
true. I don't think these guys even realize how big this is to her.
Green said it was hard to believe his promise had evolved from
some words and a handshake with Simmons to a reality.
"I never realized how important this could be," he said. "I
thought it could be big, but I was nowhere in the ballpark of what
it would mean to this one family."