Warrick Dunn is a former NFL running back and a three-time Pro Bowl selection. Dunn is well known for his philanthropic endeavors and success as a professional football player.
Dunn started Homes for the Holidays in 1997 during his rookie year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The program is a tribute to his mother, Betty Smothers, a Baton Rouge police officer who as a single mother of six worked tirelessly to achieve the American dream of owning her own home. While working a second job as a security guard, she was killed in the line of duty and was never able to realize that dream.
Warrick Dunn Charities was founded in 2002, to improve lives through innovative programming inspired by Dunn’s life journey. To date, the program has rewarded over 194 single parents and over 512 dependents for achieving first-time homeownership nationwide.
Dunn’s football career began at Florida State University. In 1997, Dunn was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played for the Bucs for five years before signing with the Atlanta Falcons in 2002. Six seasons later, in 2008, he returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his final season.
His 2008 autobiography, Running For My Life, details his life and battles with depression. As a public speaker and advocate, he often speaks about his battle with mental health and the importance of going to counseling. After a 12-year career, Dunn retired and in 2009 was approved by NFL owners to become a limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons.
In 2013, Dunn graduated with his EMBA from Emory University and also was selected to join the first class of NFL Legends.
In February 2020, Dunn launched his second nonprofit, WD Communities. WD Communities will support families from the beginning to the end of the purchase of affordable or transitional housing and provide support services, including Financial Literacy, Health & Wellness, Education Attainment, and Entrepreneurship & Workforce Development. The organization is committed to working with families over the course of several years.
Dunn serves on numerous boards and has made it his life’s mission to impact future generations by helping fulfill his mother’s dream and by continually giving back to the community and challenging others around him to do the same.
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