A former Falcon gave an Atlanta woman a late Mother's Day gift that was well worth the wait. Warrick Dunn Charities set a single mom up with a fully furnished home as part of its Home for the Holidays program on Tuesday.
Dunn has been helping single parents get into their first homes since he founded the charity in 1997, and he continued his tradition of giving back by setting up Kimberly Kindel and her three children in their first home.
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity and Aaron's, Inc. partnered with Dunn's charity to get the family into the home. The four bedroom, two bath house is in southeast Atlanta. She was driven to her new home by a friend and had no idea what she was awaiting her.
"This guy in a pink shirt jumps up on Alex's truck, and I didn't know what was going on," said Kindel.
Dunn's mother, Betty Smothers, was a Baton Rouge, La. police officer when she was killed in the line of duty. He was just 18 years old at the time. He says Mother's Day is always tough for him, and this is therapy for him.
"Losing my mom at that early age, I knew what her dream was, and to be able to share this moment with another single parent who's providing, and putting her family in a position to be successful long-term for me is -- I can't truly describe the emotions," said Dunn.
Dunn knows what it's like to be a single parent because he was left to raise five siblings after his mother was murdered. He also knows how a stable home benefits children.
"I know recent studies that we did a few years ago that the kids perform better in school. They are much more attentive. So, I think the kids are benefiting from having a stable environment," Dunn said.
Dunn's charity also gave Kimberly $5,000 in down payment assistance. As she signed her new mortgage documents, she became a true believer.
"I am a believer today that there are good people in this world that are willing to reach out and help those, who want to help themselves,' said Kindel.
Warrick Dunn Charities and its partners has helped 127 single-parent families in eight cities get into their first home.
Dunn started the non-profit in 1997 when he was a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.