Seattle Seahawks All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner is making progress this offseason not only on his game but also in his community. On May 4, Wagner teamed up with nonprofit organization Generosity Feeds and Seattle-based social enterprise MOD Pizza to pack meals for 10,000 children in his hometown of Ontario, California…Read More
A native of Riverdale, Maryland, former NFL running back Tobias Dorzon continues to make a name for himself as a rising executive chef in Washington D.C.’s culinary circuit. Founder of Victory Chefs Catering launched in 2014 and The Victory Truck launched in 2018, Dorzon has built a loyal following as a private chef and caterer for professional athletes and celebrities nationwide since leaving his professional football career behind a few years ago…Read More
During an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on April 2, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes announced the launch of "15 and the Mahomies," his new charitable foundation that focuses on improving the lives of children through health, education, and other resources…Read More
Former Chicago Bears cornerback and current FBI agent Charles “Peanut” Tillman acknowledges his fear of water and that he has zero experience as a rower. Nevertheless, he plans to overcome his fears for a good cause this summer. Tillman is in process of building a boat to take him across Lake Michigan in an effort to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and assist families of young cancer patients.Read More
With the launch of his new foundation, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy continues to demonstrate his commitment to giving back. A nine-year NFL veteran who has made the NFL All-Pro team three-times and Pro Bowl six times, McCoy credits his parents, both youth preachers in the Oklahoma City area when he was growing up, for teaching him about the importance of serving the community and helping those in need…Read More
Last week, former NFL running back Warrick Dunn gave school teacher and single mother Valencia Archie and her four sons the surprise of a lifetime. When the Archie family arrived to move into their new home in Augusta, Georgia, they found not only Dunn there to greet them but also a fully furnished house, including a stocked refrigerator and cabinets.
Dunn partnered with Augusta Housing and Community Development, Aaron’s Inc., Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia and Peach State FCU to carry out the project. While the Archie home is the first that Dunn has helped furnish in Augusta, the donation marks the 169th family Dunn has supported through his organization Warrick Dunn Charities and its “Homes for the Holidays” program.
Inspired by his single mother, a Baton Rouge police officer killed when he was 18 years old, Dunn launched the “Homes for the Holidays” program in 1997 after being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Often partnering with Habitat for Humanity, the program helps single parents around the U.S. afford homeownership-related expenses, like down payments and furnishings.
A tribute to Dunn’s late mother who worked two jobs but never owned her own home, the program serves as one of Dunn’s greatest joys. Despite operating the program for over two decades now, the magic of giving back and changing lives still remains the same for Dunn.
“It’s still a blessing, it’s still life-changing, and I’m still thankful because that feeling never gets old,” states Dunn. “It’s about creating a stable environment for the kids, and if we can create an environment that gives them a sense of safety and security so that they have more confidence when they go to school and they perform better, they’re more involved in their community.”
Retiring from the NFL in 2009 after 12 years in the league and now a minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Dunn engages in his local community beyond his foundation too. For example, during Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta this past February, Dunn served as captain of Team ATL, a crew of 10,000 hospitality volunteers who welcomed visitors to the city for the festivities.
Time will only tell how many more lives Dunn and his “Homes for the Holidays” program, as well as the organization’s nutrition and wellness education, financial literacy, and scholarship programs, will have transformed by next year’s Super Bowl!
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Scott Pioli, assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NFL Executive of the Year Award winner, recently announced the creation of an endowment fund in collaboration with the Women's Sports Foundation, where he is a new member of the organization’s Board of Trustees…Read More
Founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Alycia Powell and Michelle Mays to help professional athletes further their philanthropic endeavors and social responsibility, Champions for Philanthropy hosted its first annual Most Valuable Philanthropist Super Bowl Awards Brunch on Thursday, January 31, during Super Bowl week at The Estate in Atlanta’s Buckhead area…Read More
Former NFL defensive tackle and 2003 Super Bowl Champion Ellis Wyms has become a passionate advocate for empowering youth through computer science education. A Mississippi native and eight-year NFL veteran with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, Wyms recently launched Athletes for Computer Science (AFCS), a program powered by the Wyms Foundation that inspires elementary school children to explore careers in computer science…Read More
On January 31 as Super Bowl LIII gets set to kick off in Atlanta, Champions for Philanthropy will host its first annual Most Valuable Philanthropist Super Bowl Awards Brunch in partnership with LW Branding. The event aims to celebrate high-impact philanthropic efforts of professional athletes that rarely make the highlight reel and to inspire others to follow their lead…Read More
Hall of Famers Steve Young and Ronnie Lott and two-time Super Bowl champion Jim Plunkett have teamed up with TeachAids, a health education technology organization established by subject-matter experts from Stanford University, to raise awareness about the risks of untreated head injuries and to change public perception surrounding concussions…Read More
When the wildcard and divisional rounds of the NFL playoffs come around, January weekends seem to take on the fervor of March Madness in full swing. This intensity was no better exemplified than in the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears last Sunday…Read More
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman and 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee Cameron Heyward is partnering with Underdogs United to aid children in rural Kenya without access to safe drinking water. By joining forces with the Pittsburgh-based organization, Heyward is now becoming part of the solution to the Kenyan water crisis…Read More
As voting concludes for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year this coming weekend, 2016 awardee and Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will be in New Haven, CT, accepting an award named after another Walter. On January 12, the Minneapolis native will receive the Walter Camp Alumni Award for his continued good works on and off the field…Read More
Houston Texans safety and New Orleans native Tyrann Mathieu has overcome more tragedies at 26 years old than many face in their entire lives. From his mother abandoning him when he was an infant to losing everything in Hurricane Katrina, Mathieu has seen it all. Although he’s found a way to rise above his circumstances to become a successful NFL player, he knows his reality lies in stark contrast to the fate of most people born to poverty…Read More
In an effort to reduce economic inequality in Maryland communities, the Baltimore Ravens announced on December 11 that the franchise and its players are contributing $100,000 to Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF), an independent nonprofit organization that focuses on eliminating economic barriers and creating pathways for low-income workers to prosper. The donation will directly assist jobseekers in finding high-paying jobs in the construction industry through JOTF's Project JumpStart program…Read More
The holiday season tends to bring out the best in people. Even those who usually don’t give a second thought to the Salvation Army Red Kettle find themselves throwing in a couple quarters or giving spare change to the local youth sports club gathered on the corner to raise funds for their upcoming season. Not giving would feel heartless, especially in December…Read More
Some of the principles that define the Philadelphia Eagles on and off the field include, respect, teamwork, passion and unity. This community-oriented mindset is especially apparent in the Eagles Social Justice Fund, established through an agreement between the NFL and the Players Coalition that allows teams to set up their own funds in support of social issues like racial, economic and educational inequality…Read More
On December 4, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley made a surprise stop at Worthington Elementary School in Inglewood, CA, where he hosted a childhood literacy initiative in partnership with Pizza Hut, a new sponsor of the NFL. The restaurant chain is collaborating with nonprofit organization First Book to fulfill the company’s longtime charitable goal of providing equal access to quality education for children in need.Read More
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Ryan Switzer recently squashed a feud with 93.7 The Fan radio show host Colin Dunlap by starting a charity to support oncology programs at UMPC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. On November 23, Switzer created a charitable initiative called The Ryan Switzer Reception Challenge and has since raised more than $10,000.Read More