Throwback Photo Shows Clemson QB Deshaun Watson’s Family Receiving a House from Former NFL Player Warrick Dunn
Football has given many things to Deshaun Watson. On Monday night, the quarterback’s record-breaking performance in the national championship game gave Clemson a title and etched Watson’s name into the annals of sports’ history. In April, a likely first round pick in the NFL Draft will earn him riches and likely a starting job in the league. However, the greatest gift football ever gave to him may have come from former NFL player Warrick Dunn over a decade ago. Dunn, a former superstar for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons, started a charity in 1997 known as “Home for the Holidays” to honor his deceased mother, a police officer who was killed while working a security job. In the nearly two decades since the organization’s founding, they’ve teamed with Habitat for Humanity to provide over 150 homes to single-parent families, according to USA Today.
According to the organization’s website, their goal is;
“Warrick Dunn Charities was created from the belief that a better future starts with hope. We are dedicated to strengthening and transforming communities by combating poverty, hunger and improving the quality of life for families and children. We help families thrive academically, socially, and economically. Since 1997, thousands of children and families have benefited from programs activated by NFL great Warrick Dunn. Our mission is to provide hope and healing to communities through innovative programming inspired by our founder’s life journey. Warrick Dunn Charities, a 501(c)(3) recognized nonprofit, has helped single parents and children thrive academically, socially and economically. Warrick Dunn, former all-pro running back and philanthropist, began Homes for the Holidays during his rookie season in the NFL to honor his late mother, Betty Smothers. Ms. Betty was a Baton Rouge police officer and single mother who was killed while working an off-duty assignment.”In 2006, after Watson’s single mom had put in 300 hours of volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity, their family was given a home of their own, with Warrick Dunn personally on hand to present it. Watson recently spoke about that day to the Associated Press. “I felt grown having my own room, just having my own bed, not really being squished, not really worrying about someone sneaking up on me, it was a great moment, a special moment.”
A photo of Watson’s family with Dunn taken on that 2006 day has gone viral since Clemson’s win on Monday. In the years since, Watson has continued to “pay it forward” by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Watson’s continued commitment is surely something Dunn appreciates, as he told the AP in the aforementioned story that, “We’re helping people who are helping themselves. It’s crazy how much pride people have when it’s something they work for and not something they’re given.”
Warrick Dunn giving the Watson family the keys to their house in 2006. Deshaun Watson in black sweatshirt on the right. pic.twitter.com/UjGlcIhlkT— HAPPY MOO YEAR (@edsbs) January 10, 2017
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