Thursday, December 16, 2010

Warrick Dunn

Warrick Dunn was an NFL running back. After a college career at Florida State, Warrick was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the 1997 season. But being an NFL running back isn't the story. Winning the 2010 Humanitarian Heisman is.

He played with the Bucs from 1997 to 2001, then jumped ship to play with the Atlanta Falcons from 2002 until 2007, missing the Bucs Super Bowl XXXVII championship in 2003. He finished his career by returning for a final season in Tampa Bay in 2008.

In his career, he ran for just under 11,000 yards and 49 touchdowns and caught another 15 TDs.

Warrick Dunn grew up in a single parent home. His mother was a police officer and worked off-duty security shifts to make extra money. When Warrick was eighteen, his mother was killed in a robbery without achieving her dream of owning a home.

After making it to the NFL, Warrick started the Homes for the Holidays which assists single parents in purchasing their own home. Later, the Warrick Dunn Family Foundation was established to provide additional services to single parents.

By the end of 2010, Warrick will have helped 100 single parents achieve home ownership. He provides down payment assistance and new furniture. More than anything, he provides hope.

Many people struggle through life and are hopeless. While most of us cannot provide new homes or furnishings, all of us can provide a smile, a word or a gesture. Too many people walk around the world in their own little world - not speaking or even making eye contact with others.

Take the time to check on a neighbor or smile at strangers in the grocery store. Learn a lesson from Warrick. Life is more than ourselves. It is about the people and the world around us. Do your part.

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