Former NFL Star Warrick Dunn Surprises Single Mother With New Home

John Healy
October 17, 2019 - 11:48 am

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Warrick Dunn understands how tough it is to be a single mother.

He was raised by one — Betty Smothers — who had to work two jobs as a police officer and security job to make ends meet while raising six kids.

Dunn had always wanted to give his mother a home, but was never able to fulfill that dream. Smothers was ambushed and killed just days after Dunn turned 18 years old while she was escorting someone to the bank during her off-duty security job.

In the time since losing his mother, Dunn has forgiven his mother's killers and made it his mission to help other single moms achieve dreams of homeownership with his foundation, Warrick Dunn Charities.

On Tuesday, Dunn did just that when he surprised certified nursing assistant LaToya Reedy of Pinellas County, Florida with a brand new two-bedroom, two-bathroom house.

“Oh my God, this is beautiful,” Reedy said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “I love it. This is everything.”

Reedy and her son were priced out of their rented apartment and forced to live in an overcrowded living space together the last two years. The two shared one room and rotated sleeping on the bed with five other family members.

Dunn’s charity — along with Habitat of Humanity, furniture company Aaron’s, and healthcare provider Cigna — were able to deliver on the new home for the two.

“I can be at peace. I can bring sweet memories to my house and I can have my family and my friends over,” Reedy said. “I have a home now, and that’s something that I’ve always wanted for my son, and for myself.”

Reedy became a candidate for a new home when she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, which has a homeownership program for those who demonstrate housing needs and meet income-related guidelines.

Dunn, meanwhile, has presented 173 new homes to single mothers nationwide as part of his charity. The former NFL star says giving back has been therapeutic for him.

“Every time I hand over those keys there’s a little piece of my mom and the things she wanted,” he said.

Dunn led the tour of Reedy’s new home, which was also stocked with groceries, a coffee maker and other cooking supplies in addition to furniture and electronics.

“It’s been a long, hard journey,” Reedy said. “Struggle and sacrifices, but we made it.”

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