Warrick Dunn is a modern athlete who excelled on and off the football field. He is a true humanitarian because of the charity work he has done after retiring from the NFL. While having a stellar 12 year career as a running back for two NFL teams, Warrick hung up his cleats after the 2009 football season. During his playing days, he won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The award is given to one NFL player per year for their community service as well as their performance on the field. After retiring from professional football, Warrick went full-steam ahead and poured himself into his charity work.
He created the Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) program in 1997 and in 2002, established the Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC). The HFTH program assist single-parent households with reaching home ownership by providing them down-payment assistance and complete home furnishings. The program works with Habitat for Humanity affiliates and the WDC to find eligible recipients to receive a new home. So far, Warrick Dunn’s charities have provided homes to over 150 single-parent households in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tampa, and Tallahassee. In addition, he’s helped another 300 plus dependent-age children find permanent housing. The WDC goal is to provide families with a positive living environment, so that the children can thrive educationally, socially, and economically.
Warrick has won several awards for his charitable work, such as the Bart Starr Award in 2009 and the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Athlete in Service and Philanthropy in 2011. In 2007, he co-founded the Athletes for Hope, a charity which encourages professional athletes, sports industry professionals, and fans to become involved with charitable causes. Other athletes that joined him in creating Athletes for Hope, were Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning, and Cal Ripken, Jr.
In 2008, Warrick wrote his memoir, Running For My Life. In his book, he chronicled his battles with depression throughout his life and the murder of his mother, a police officer who was killed while off-duty.