December 19, 2001
9:00 AM   Subscribe

A feel-good story for the holidays, involving a pro football player. Warrick Dunn of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes the down payment and furnishes homes for single mothers and their children in Tampa Bay and his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This program has now been copied by NY Giants' Jason Sehorn. (more inside)
posted by msacheson (17 comments total)
Dunn started the program in honor of the struggles and dreams of his mother, Betty Smothers, a single mother of six children who "dreamed of owning a home for her and her family. Unfortunately, it was a dream still unrealized when Smothers, a veteran police officer, was killed while working her second job as a security guard in 1993". Dunn doesn't pay for the entire house; he simply pays the down payment and organizes, with corporate sponsors, the furnishings for the house. "I put them in a position to succeed, to become stable, to try to better their lives, move forward and better their kids' lives. It's not about me, it's about a mother and her family." Bravo, Warrick.
posted by msacheson at 9:07 AM on December 19, 2001

that is pretty cool. Amazing what you can do for someone else for less than the price of a new luxury sedan. Bravo indeed.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:10 AM on December 19, 2001

Good for him. I know there are more stories out there about this kind of thing but usually you don't hear about them. Its a shame that we don't.
Had Warrick Dunn been arrested for drug possession it would be mentioned in every single newspaper. Thanks for the post.
posted by keithl at 9:15 AM on December 19, 2001

I thought starvingartist told us just the other day that football is ridiculous and those who play it are dispicable and to be hated? I'm confused, mommy.
posted by jammer at 9:16 AM on December 19, 2001

Man, I'm welling up reading that article. It's such a happy reminder that most pro athletes are decent people who recognize the responsibility they have as wealthy public figures to give back to their communities in ways that matter, whether they get a lot of publicity for it or not. This program is something that works, too, since home ownership is a big step to financial independence. Bravo, Warrick. Bravo, indeed! And thanks for posting it msacheson; a nice story for the holiday season.
posted by hincandenza at 9:17 AM on December 19, 2001

I'm one of those people who doesn't like football and has a "bad attitude" about football players. Thanks for giving me another perspective on them, msacheson. It's good to read about these types of programs.
posted by witchstone at 9:27 AM on December 19, 2001

hincandenza said: "...responsibility they have as wealthy public figures to give back to their communities..."

As a member of a community I feel a duty and responsibility to contribute to it in any way that I can, and I ain't got shit.

You probably didn't mean it the way I heard it, hincandenza, so I'm not picking on you. I just thought I'd remind people that they're not helpless or free from civic duties just because they're not rich.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:41 AM on December 19, 2001

I think the idea is that the wealthy should give proportionally more, as they are able to.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:43 AM on December 19, 2001

Okay, here's a guy who goes against my tirade the other day about pro sports players. What a great story. Good for him.
posted by aacheson at 9:49 AM on December 19, 2001

This reminds me of another program that is done in NJ... it is a well kown secret that Bruce Springsteen (through a third party) gives families grants to buy new energy efficient windows for thier homes... IIRC it was $5,000 per family... wich I could find the link to the only story Ive ever seen published, but it isnt anywhere to be found....

Just another example that sometimes people with money try to give something back...

posted by niteHawk at 10:04 AM on December 19, 2001

I think the idea is that the wealthy should give proportionally more, as they are able to.

And if you really 'ain't got shit', then perhaps you should consider being on the receiving rather than the giving end of these charities. People who 'ain't got shit' are usually the very people these rich benefactors want to help most.
posted by boaz at 10:06 AM on December 19, 2001

For a rather less than complete list (but still VERY impressive) of the charitable things that many NFL Football players do, Please check here. I love the quote from Tagliabue:

"For years, NFL players and coaches have been working extensively in their communities on their day off," says NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE. "While many of us use our two-day weekend to relax, countless NFL players and coaches use their one day off during the season to give back to their communities. It's time players received more credit for that."

I couldn't agree more. Also a wonderful story of help and hope from a former NFLer and coach of Cornell. These storys abound in the world, but it is unfortunate that scandal gets press, and these stories are often played as maudlin, unseemly, or the exeption for athletes, not the rule..
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:18 AM on December 19, 2001

Outstanding. Makes this Grinch's heart swell. Looks like I have to start rooting for Warrick and Jason on Sundays.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 10:37 AM on December 19, 2001

Warrick is a great guy. He not only makes sure that families have a house, he has the local grocery stores fill the pantries with food, he gets furniture stores to fill the room with GOOD furniture, and he even helps with the decorations.

For a home he helped with a month ago, he decorated the bedroom of a young boy top to bottom with football memorabilia (that would probably be worth hundreds, if not thousands).

For the same home, the single mother went to look at a house that she (thought) was going to be rented to her and her son. When she got there, Warrick was on the front porch with the keys. He handed them over with a hug and a kiss.

A freshly-baked apple pie on the kitchen table completed the atmosphere.

I dare anyone to read that and not get tears in their eyes.

posted by ColdChef at 10:50 AM on December 19, 2001

I was tearing up, man, I was. I'm gonna have to root for the 7-6 Bucs to squeeze into the playoffs because of this. I can only imagine the feeling of those mothers knowing their kids will now grow up in a real home of their own. Golly...

And still, techgnollogic had to critique one phrasing I made. I mean, geez, man- feel the love in the room right now, and let it go. :)
posted by hincandenza at 1:27 PM on December 19, 2001

hincandenza - I'm a died-in-the-wool-card-carrying-never-say-never-been-through-the-shit-Bronco fan, and I'M rooting for the Bucs (of course I have for many years now, but that's another tale). There's a real beauty to what these guys do, on and off the field. Anyone here seen "Brian's Song"?

Yeah, I for one feel the love in the room right now. This ain't about rich or poor, this is about them as can helping them as can't.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:56 PM on December 19, 2001

Can anyone say "Pay it Forward"?
posted by carolinagrl at 2:33 PM on December 19, 2001

« Older UK government pushing sale of air defense system...   |   Oooooh! Look! Bones!!!! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments