Former Bucs’ RB Warrick Dunn Provides Help To Moms

On this Mother’s Day, we take a look at former Bucs and Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, who has given nearly 140 homes to single mothers.

A long time fan favorite of Buccaneers fans, running back Warrick Dunn has made the most of his celebrity status off the field. Dunn started Warrickk Dunn Charities to help provide homes to families in need. Many of these families are single moms, something that touches Dunn’s heart and hits close to home.

In 1993, shortly after Dunn’s 18th birthday, his mother Betty Smothers was killed when assisting an elderly woman make a night deposit at a bank. Dunn became the head of the household and caretaker for his siblings. Once he reached the NFL, the first round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1997, he wanted to do something to give back to those who needed it. His decision was to provide help for those who had home lives like the one he had grown up in.

Dunn created a charity named Home For The Holidays, which specialized in providing homes to single-parent families. The families are chosen through the charity’s partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and the Warrick Dunn Charity. Each home is given to its family complete with furniture and appliances. To date, HFTH has given 145 homes to families, 139 of those going to single mothers in the Tampa, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tallahassee and New Orleans areas.

Warrick Dunn is a prime example of athletes using their connections, wealth, and celebrity status for the benefit of others. And although Dunn has mostly kept his name out of the mainstream for his charitable work, he did receive the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2005 for HFTH. He received a Giant Steps award from former president Bill Clinton, recognizing his efforts.

Most importantly, he received smiles, hugs, tears, and gratitude from the 145 families he helped. The mothers he helped give a home to, the kids he gave a backyard to play in. At the end of the day, that means far more to Dunn than any award ever could.