Warrick Dunn, Arthur Blank surprise new homeowners - KMSP-TV

Warrick Dunn, Arthur Blank surprise new homeowners

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Former NFL pro Warrick Dunn and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank were among a crowd of well-wishers who surprised a family on Thursday. The Cannada family's new home was fully-stocked with furnishings and decor.

Curelle Cannada couldn't hold back the tears as Blank and Dunn presented her with the keys to her new home.

"I look at is as a blessing because without God I don't think any of this would be possible," she said.
    
Cannada's dream of homeownership became a reality thanks to the Warrick Dunn Charities Homes for the Holidays program, Arthur Blank and the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.
 
"To see what it means to the mother, the children and to her brother, it's just a great experience to all of us," Blank said.

The program has assisted some 120 single parents and their families over the years, helping them attain long-term stability through homeownership.

For former NFL pro Warrick Dunn, it's a living legacy to his mother. Dunn was inspired by her efforts to make a better life for him and his siblings.

 "It's really been about my struggle, my mom's struggle -- her dream of home ownership," he said.

Cannada helped work to build her home, but had no idea her family had been selected to receive the generous gift. The house was fully furnished, decked out for the holidays, each item selected with car to make this house a home on move-in day.
        
"To have this gift, it's a good thing. It's a good feeling," Cannada said.

Dunn says it is the culmination of the hard work and dedication Cannada has put in to make a better life for her family, and an opportunity to show her children and other youngsters how hard work and perseverance can lead to a better life.

"Show them a different opportunity.  You work hard and you work to put yourself in a good situation, it's an opportunity to provide yourself a better opportunity in the future," Dunn said.

Cannada will be eternally grateful to those who have made her dream a reality.

"It's a blessing to have it all. It's a blessing to meet people who don't even know me and they are furnishing my house. They are doing everything for me that I would never have imagined someone that doesn't know me to do," she said.

Dunn has worked with families across the country to make their dreams of homeownership come true. He plans to help broaden his outreach by partnering with more NFL teams in coming years.

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