Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, provided home furnishings for three surprise home presentations this month as part of Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) programs sponsored by former NFL stars Warrick Dunn and Kurt Warner.
The presentations in Newark and Atlanta were the 150th and 151st, respectively, since the 2002 founding of Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC) by the former pro running back. In partnership with Aaron’s and Habitat for Humanity affiliates, WDC has rewarded 151 single parents – plus their 400 children and dependents – with the American Dream of first-time homeownership through down payment assistance in 15 cities across the nation.
In Phoenix, a partnership of Aaron’s, Habitat for Humanity and retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, his wife Brenda, and their First Things First Foundation (FTFF), presented a home to a single mother of three. The family was the 41st nationwide – and 19th in Arizona – to be surprised by FTFF’s “Homes for the Holidays” program.
“We are thrilled to join Warrick Dunn Charities, First Things First Foundation and Habitat for Humanity in celebrating these newest additions to a heartwarming program that provides single parents with a safe, comfortable home for them and their children,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “For 61 years, Aaron’s has focused on supporting our communities, and we’re happy to continue that tradition by providing these families with furnishings they can enjoy this holiday season and for years to come.”
The 150th home by WDC went to Newark resident Beatrice McKay, a Liberian refugee and mother of two. Aaron’s surprised McKay and her family by providing furniture and electronics for her master bedroom, two children’s bedrooms, living room and dining room. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his wife, Jane, also contributed to the surprise home and personally assisted in decorating the home and attended the unveiling.
A week later in the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro, the 151st home was presented by WDC to Rickita Burney, a single mother of two. Burney overcame a bitter divorce, multiple home break-ins, financial stresses, and living in cramped quarters with her mother to complete Habitat for Humanity requirements to receive a new home and interest-free mortgage.
“Helping Rickita and Beatrice accomplish their American Dream is what makes Homes for the Holidays so rewarding,” said Dunn. “Nobody deserves this more than they do, as each of them has overcome numerous obstacles to achieve this goal.”
Warrick Dunn Charities provides hope and healing to communities through innovative programming inspired by Dunn’s life journey. The Homes for the Holidays program assists single parents in becoming first-time homeowners by providing the materials necessary for long-term stability and the provisions required to ensure both parent and children can thrive educationally, socially and economically. The recipients receive $5,000 in down payment assistance as well as home furnishings, appliances, food, and other support for financial stability and security.
The Phoenix home was presented by Aaron’s, FTFF and Habitat for Humanity to Amanaranta Robles, a single mom who works hard to provide for her three children. They were most recently living in Amanaranta’s mother’s three-bedroom, one-bathroom house along with her sister’s family.
First Things First Foundation was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities to encourage everyone that all things are possible when people to seek to put “first things first.” Unbeknownst to the Robles family, their new home was fully furnished, including all the furniture, washer and dryer, and a computer with an approximate total retail value of $10,000 thanks to Aaron’s.
“I’m overjoyed we’re able to help Amanaranta and her children feel at home in a place of their own,” said Warner. “By doing this, we not only reward Amanaranta for achieving the dream of home ownership, but also give her children a springboard for their future and empower them to achieve their dreams.”