Warrick Dunn, Former NFL Player, Donates Fully Furnished Home to Single Mom through His Charity

A single mom in Florida is now the owner of a fully furnished home thanks to the charity initiative of former NFL running back Warrick Dunn. Dunn’s charity, meanwhile, is in honor of his late mother’s memory.

It’s been about a decade since Dunn, 44, retired from professional football, but he still keeps busy putting smiles on people’s faces.

LaToya Reedy, a certified nursing assistant, is the latest recipient of "Home for the Holidays," an initiative of the Warrick Dunn Charities, which helps single parents become homeowners.

"WDC is happy to welcome recipient #173, Miss LaToya of St. Petersburg, FL, and her son AnTrez, to the Homes for the Holidays family!" Dunn announced alongside an Instagram photo with LaToya and her son.

[Betty Smothers] died at 36 after being shot days before Dunn’s 18th birthday.

On Tuesday, LaToya and her 18-year-old son were taken to their new home: a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, fully furnished apartment in St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

"Oh my God, this is beautiful," LaToya raved as she walked in the front door, according to the outlet. "I love it. This is everything." She added:

"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."

Before now, the Times reported, LaToya and AnTrez had to share one room with her mother, Linda Reedy. In the overcrowded apartment, they rotated sleeping on the bed and shared one bathroom with five people for two years.

"It’s been a long, hard journey," LaToya confessed. "Struggle and sacrifices, but we made it."

Dunn was able to put a smile on LaToya’s face, thanks to his charity’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Other sponsors include Aaron’s, a furniture company that donated $10,000 toward furniture, appliances, and interior design and healthcare provider Cigna that put forth the same amount towards down payment assistance and groceries.

With her new home, LaToya becomes the 173rd recipient of the Warrick Dunn Charities' "Home for the Holidays" program that pays tribute to the memory of Dunn’s late mother.

Betty Smothers was a mother-of-six who worked two jobs in the struggle to provide for her kids. She died at 36 after being shot days before Dunn’s 18th birthday.

Helping other single parents become homeowners has now become a form of therapy for the retired Tampa Bay Buccaneer, who had to look out for his siblings growing up.

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People often ask me "WHY?", and I always share my mother's story and her "WHY?"...I think about all of the life changing moments I have witnessed and the commitments parents have made to put their families in stable situations. Life happens, but it's never too late to do something about it. No matter the circumstance, we all have that moment when we decide for ourselves the path towards a better life and brighter future. Home #171 for @wdcharities and the 2nd home in Augusta, GA. This home recipient's "WHY": Just because your life takes a different path than a traditional one, it doesn’t mean that’s the end. You decide what you are going to be. You decide what path you are going to put your children on, and you decide what you are going to show them. You set the example.” ~ Nailah Bakari Thank you @aaronsinc @thejume @peachstatefcu @growaugusta for your partnership! @wilwright.official @whiskeycostudios #homeownership #americandream #dunndidit #homesfortheholidays #warrickdunncharities

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"You have no choice but to mature. It wasn’t just about going to school and playing football anymore," he previously told PEOPLE. "My life became about five people."

"She was compassionate, she was kind, she was helpful, thoughtful," Dunn also said of his late mom. "She was everything that I would want in my wife. I consider my mother to be superwoman."

View this post on Instagram

Yesterday we welcomed Grace and her 3 children into the @WDCharities family as Homes for the Holidays recipient #172. Grace is originally from Sudan and did not think that she would ever be able to afford her own home, especially in a foreign country. Through hard work and faith, Grace’s prayers were answered by @habitatgwinnett earlier this year and she is able to move from an unsafe and overcrowded environment into a home that will give her family stability for generations to come. We are grateful to our partners @aaronsinc and @thejume for helping to turn Grace’s dream into reality. #dunndidit #NeverGiveUp #FaithWithWork #WDC #Homeownership #homesfortheholidays #warrickdunncharities

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Now, Dunn keeps his mother’s memory alive by leaving the gift of an apple pie – her favorite dessert – in every home he gifts another single parent.

"I’ve used this program as therapy," Dunn told the Times. "Every time I hand over those keys, there’s a little piece of my mom and the things she wanted."

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