The feels

Former NFL Player Surprises Single Mom With New Home

Former NFL Player Surprises Single Mom With New Home

Former NFL Player Warrick Dunn just delivered his 173rd home to a single mother through his organization Warrick Dunn Charities, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

The home was presented as part of Dunn’s “Home for the Holidays” initiative, which helps single parents realize their dream of homeownership. The last fully furnished home went to LaToya Reedy and her 18-year-old son.

Reedy, 39, is a nursing assistant who was struggling to make ends meet, sharing a bed at her mother’s house for the last two years. Rising rent costs forced the mother to live paycheck to paycheck, eventually forcing her to move into her mother’s house where she and her son took turns sleeping in one bed. 

All that changed thanks to Dunn’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Reedy received a newly built, 2,000 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, fully furnished with a refrigerator full of groceries. Aaron’s furniture company donated $10,000 toward furniture, appliances, and interior design while healthcare provider Cigna donated another $10,000 towards down payment assistance and groceries. 

Reedy was ecstatic about her new place to call home saying, “I can be at peace. I can bring sweet memories to my house and I can have my family and my friends over. I have a home now and that’s something that I’ve always wanted for my son and for myself.”  

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer was inspired to help as many single mothers as possible after his mom, Betty Smothers, was killed during a robbery shortly before his 18th birthday. The tragedy left Dunn to help care for his five siblings.

Dunn told PEOPLE that after his mother’s death he had “no choice but to mature.” He helps other single mothers become homeowners because that’s something he wanted for his own mom, a single mother of six who worked two jobs to provide.

To honor his mother, the 44-year-old former running back leaves an apple pie in every hom. It was her favorite dessert. He said he uses his good deeds to help him cope. “I’ve used this program as therapy. Every time I hand over those keys there’s a little piece of my mom and the things she wanted,” Dunn said. 

Reedy was emotional as Dunn led her through her new home. “Struggle and sacrifices, but we made it,” she said.