Tallahassee dad, children have new home, thanks to FSU alumnus Warrick Dunn

Warrick Dunn, left, watches as Osei Nyahuma signs final paperwork for his new home. Daugher Miehsa Nelson looks on.

Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn has presented a new home to a single father and his four children in Tallahassee in a first for "Homes for the Holidays," a program of the Warrick Dunn Foundation that historically has assisted single mothers in Tampa, Baton Rouge, La., and Atlanta in achieving the American dream of home ownership.

Dunn greeted FSU employee Osei Nyahuma, 50, on the front lawn of his new four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the Tallahassee Highlands subdivision. Nyahuma’s home, sponsored by Big Bend Habitat for Humanity’s "25th Anniversary Build," required him and his family to complete 400 "sweat equity" hours of work on the house.

"Over the years, I’ve matured and realized it is important to help out folks who are trying to help themselves," Dunn said regarding the addition of single fathers to the "Homes for the Holidays" program.

Following the presentation, Dunn, a 1997 graduate, received the Circle of Gold award from the Florida State University Alumni Association in honor of his leadership and commitment to the university and the Tallahassee community. He joins an elite group of 160 FSU alumni who have received the award.

"We are proud to award the Circle of Gold award to Warrick, who epitomizes the strength and character that we think represents the alumni of FSU," said Gene Walden, interim president and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association.

Nyahuma, anticipating a home inspection, was overwhelmed to arrive to a sea of supporters flooding his new property. Dunn escorted him through his fully furnished home, equipped with everything a first-time home buyer needs. In-kind sponsor Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership provided all furniture, appliances and televisions. Through title sponsor Prudential Tropical Realty, the house is equipped with groceries, linens and lawn care products—everything down to the toothbrushes.

"I was worried about furnishing our home," Nyahuma said. "I can’t remember the last time I sat on a new couch. This is truly a blessing."

Nyahuma and his children, ages 14-20,  realized the American dream of home ownership in time for the holidays.

With his many philanthropic activities, Dunn is a candidate for the designation of Neighborhood MVP of the Year, a competition sponsored by Home Depot and the NFL. FSU fans and alumni can help him win the title by voting on line or through the Warrick Dunn Foundation’s home page: www.warrickdunnfoundation.org.

The award recognizes NFL players who are making a positive impact in their communities through charitable programs and contributions. It also directs attention to their alma maters.

Since its inception in 1997, "Homes for the Holidays" has assisted 74 single parents and 192 children in Tallahassee, Tampa, Baton Rouge, La., and Atlanta. Of those, Nyahuma is the first single father to receive assistance—and the first "Homes for the Holidays" recipient in Tallahassee.

"Homes for the Holidays" was established by the Warrick Dunn Foundation in 1997 as a way to honor the life of Dunn’s mother, Betty Smothers, a police officer and security guard, who was killed during a robbery attempt while working as an off-duty police officer in Baton Rouge. Title sponsor Prudential Tropical Realty and in-kind sponsor Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership contribute to furnishing and equipping each home. For more information, visit www.warrickdunnfoundation.org.

To date, Dunn has assisted 74 single parents and 192 children and dependents.