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The Warrick Dunn Foundation is dedicated to providing opportunities for economically-disadvantaged single parents and children who have demonstrated a commitment to achieve financial independence and stability.
As the oldest of six, Warrick grew up watching his mother, Betty Smothers, provide for him and his five siblings. As a single mother she worked endless hours as a Baton Rouge police officer and several off-duty jobs to make ends meet. During Warrick's senior year at Catholic high school, his mother's life was taken in the line of duty, leaving him the responsibility of keeping the family together. Although she worked hard all of her life, Betty was never able to realize the American dream of owning her own home.
After being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft, Warrick established the "Homes for the Holidays" program in Tampa, Fla. The program honors Betty's dream of homeownership for other single parents. In 1998, the "Homes for the Holidays" program was introduced to Warrick's hometown of Baton Rouge, La. and in Atlanta, Ga. in 2002 during his first year with the Atlanta Falcons. The "Homes for the Holidays" program currently exists in Atlanta, Tampa, Baton Rouge and Tallahassee, Fla. in 2007. As of December 2008, the program has assisted 83 single parents and 221 dependents to achieve first-time homeownership.
- Katherine Wyatt
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