Former NFL Athlete Awards 139th Home to a Black Single Mother

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Reported by @WritingsByMaria

As the NFL fights to restore its reputation as a league that does not tolerate mistreatment of women, one former NFL athlete named Warrick Dunn is proving that not all of the athletes in the league are uncontrollably viοlent, temperamental men. The 39-year-old’s Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) charity just gave away its 139th home to a single mother. Dunn posted an image of a smiling African-American woman sitting atop a bed in her new home with a caption that reads: “Family 139th for @WDCharities. Life changing moments never get old. Thankful.”

The HFTH program was started in 1997 and rewards single-parent families for reaching first-time homeownership. HFTH recipients are selected through a partnership that Dunn’s Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC) organization established with Habitat for Humanity affiliates. The home comes complete with home furnishings and down-payment assistance. WDC believes by providing families with a positive home environment, children can thrive educationally, socially, and economically. The effort has been implemented throughout the nation

Dunn’s passion for helping single-parent homes may be attributed to his humble upbringing. At the age of 18, he was forced to become head of the household after his mother, Betty Smothers, an off duty cop at the time, was murdered by armed robbers. After achieving success in the NFL, the athlete dedicated his post career to helping families in need by helping single parents achieve the goal his mother had — home ownership.

Dunn’s philanthropy has been recognized by a number of esteemed organizations. He received a Giant Steps Award in civic leadership from former President Bill Clinton; he was presented with the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award; he was awarded with the 2009 Bart Starr Award; and he also received a Jefferson Award for Outstanding Athlete in Service and Philanthropy in 2011.

In 2005, Dunn challenged all NFL players, excluding those who played for the New Orleans Saints, to donate at least $5,000 to support families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The effort received over $5 million in contributions.