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Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson spends off day distributing school supplies to kids

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson spent Thursday’s day off from practice distributing backpacks and school supplies at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson spent Thursday’s day off from practice distributing backpacks and school supplies at Arrowhead Stadium. Courtesy of Derrick Johnson

Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson could have spent a rare off day Thursday doing just about anything.

Resting — especially given the fact he’s coming off an Achilles injury — immediately comes to mind.

However, Johnson instead spent three hours of his off day playing host to his second annual back-to-school program at Arrowhead Stadium, distributing backpacks and school supplies to 300 students in need.

Johnson joined volunteers from State Farm to hand out school supplies, book bags and more to students from Kansas City schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Police Athletic League and the Rose Brooks Center. Students also got a chance to tour Arrowhead and experience the Chiefs’ NFL Play 60 lab.

The event was a part of Johnson’s Defend the Dream Foundation, whose mission is to provide low-income and urban young people with opportunities and resources to reach their full potential.

“My passion is working with kids, and education is really important to me,” Johnson said. “Defend the Dream Foundation allows me to tackle both.”

That said, Johnson, who was back to work Friday, has a hard time coming up with a better way to spend his day off.

“I don’t want kids to worry about not being ready when school starts,” Johnson said. “The kids here tonight are now fully equipped to begin learning on day one.”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @TerezPaylor. Tap here to download the new Red Zone Extra app for iOS and Android devices.

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