Warrick Dunn is a former NFL running back, who was drafted 12th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1997.
As a rookie, he was named AP NFL offensive rookie of the year and he began a charity that would help single parents and their children academically, socially and economically called Homes for the Holidays (HFTH).
Dunn, a Baton Rouge native, was struck with a tragedy on January 7, 1993, when his mother, Betty Smothers was gunned down. Betty wasn’t just a 36-year old single mother of six, she was also a police officer who would take on off-duty police officer work like she did on that January night when she was escorting a businesswoman to make a night deposit at the bank. It was during this off-duty work that Betty was ambushed and shot dead. It was that day that Dunn became the head of the house.
In 2008, Dunn wrote an autobiography called “Running for my Life” where he discusses his mom and the men that murdered her. He talks about meeting one of those convicted killers at the Louisiana State Penitentiary too.
In 2002, Dunn started the Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC) that combined with HFTH so that they can provide more for families.
In 2005, Dunn was awarded the Walter Payton Man of the Year award after Chicago Bears’ running back who died in 1999. This award is the only NFL award that recognizes a player for his community service as well as his performance on the field.
It was after Hurricane Katrina when Dunn challenged all NFL players, except for the New Orleans Saints players, to donate $5,000 to help. This donation collected over $5 million in contributions.
In 2012, the charity had assisted over 115 single parents and over 300 dependents in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tampa and Tallahassee areas alone.
On Oct. 1, 2015, Dunn tweeted a picture of his 145th recipient of a house.
Congratulations to Recipient #145. She has worked so hard to achieve her dream of homeownership. WDC was in Tampa… http://fb.me/2j2ZlcaKb
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