Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Warrick Dunn surprised a single mom this week with a new house built by Habitat for Humanity for her and her 18-year-old son after two years of sharing a bedroom with the boy’s grandmother.
Warrick Dunn Charities teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, healthcare company Cigna, and furniture company Aaron’s to give LaToya Reedy and her son AnTrenz a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, fully furnished house.
The house measures about 2,000 square feet and is kitted out with more than $10,000 worth of furnishing and appliances thanks to a generous donation from Aaron’s. Meanwhile, Cigna gave an additional $10,000 to cover down payment assistance and groceries for the mother and son.
While Reedy knew she would be the recipient of a new home, she was overwhelmed to discover it fully furnished and with food in the cabinets and fridge as well as items like a coffee maker and a NutriBullet in the kitchen.
“Oh my God this is beautiful,” she said as she walked in the front door according to the Tampa Bay Times. “I love it. This is everything.”
“Being a homeowner now, I can be at home,” LaToya Reedy said. “I can be at peace.” https://t.co/tE4tnMPgxi
— tbt* (@tbtnewspaper) October 16, 2019
Reedy thanked all those involved in helping make her dream of becoming a homeowner happen, saying, “Being a homeowner now, I can be at home. 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.”
Reedy has been a long-time volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, completing more than 350 sweat equity hours, well above the minimum of the 300 hours required to purchase and own one of the homes herself.
Other qualifications had to be met as well, including local residency, housing need, and falling below a certain income threshold.
I got to witness the first time Warrick Dunn surprised a single mom with a new home when he was playing for the Bucs. More than 20 years and over 170 homes later he is still doing it. We in the media won’t tell stories like this often enough! https://t.co/YhfofL7tBh
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) October 16, 2019
Dunn, who has dealt with his own personal tragedies in life, has provided six houses including Reedy’s in Pinellas County and a whopping 173 nationwide thanks to the Warrick Dunn Charities.
“I’ve used this program as therapy,” Dunn said of his work with Habitats for Humanity, reflecting on his mother’s untimely death just before his 18th birthday. “Every time I hand over those keys there’s a little piece of my mom and the things she wanted.”