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Homes for the Holidays surprises three single parent families in Lafayette with fully-furnished homes

Photo by KADN staff

Homes for the Holidays is a program of the Warrick Dunn Charities, Dunn a Baton Rouge native and former NFL running back

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 3:50pm

"It's a huge deal.  It's beautiful, I'm excited, I'm excited oh my God," says Sandra Joseph, new homeowner.

This is Sandra Joseph's new house!  Until now, she and her kids were living in a run-down house using up more than 40 percent of her income just to cover the rent.  So she's worked hard to become a homeowner through Habitat, and she finally achieved her dream.

"It was a struggle.  I had to motivate myself to get up and go because I worked too it wasn't easy, but Lord gave me the strength to do what I needed to do and I'm grateful for that," says Sandra.

And with the help of Homes for the Holidays, a program of the Warrick Dunn Charities, now Sandra has a new home.  It's fully furnished, and completely stocked with every household need.  Plus, she got a $5,000 down payment to get her started.

"My mom's dream was to own a home, and she never had that opportunity.  I'm pretty much living out my mom's dream through other single parents," says Warrick Dunn, former NFL running back and Baton Rouge native.

Homes for the Holidays has helped out more than 125 single parents and about 350 kids since it was established in 1997.

"I was taught by the city of Baton Rouge when I lost my mom at 18 years old.  They started a trust fund for us so that we were able to pay bills, and they taught me what it means to care about your neighbor, to love your community, to care about one another," says Dunn.

Dunn has taken this program to families all over the country, and with it the hope that those communities will turn around and do the same.

"I just want to tell the ladies out there, keep your strength and be strong because things can happen.  Look what happened to me, it's beautiful, thank you," says Sandra.


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