PHOENIX -- The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer and 'official home improvement sponsor' of the National Football League, announced Wednesday that Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn is the inaugural winner of The Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP award. The Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP is a national program that recognizes players who are making a positive impact in their local communities through charitable programs and contributions.
Dunn was honored for the community work he does through the Warrick Dunn Foundation. Most notably, his Homes for the Holidays program assists single parents in Tampa and Tallahassee, Fla., Baton Rouge, La., and Atlanta in achieving the American dream of home ownership. Since 1997, Dunn has helped 74 single parents and 192 children and dependents achieve first-time home ownership. And in 2007, the Warrick Dunn Foundation assisted its first single father.
"Warrick has made an enormous impact in the cities he's called home over the years," said John Ross, vice president of advertising and marketing for The Home Depot. "His efforts this year embody The Home Depot's core values - hard work, leadership and giving back, and we are very proud to honor him as our MVP winner."
Warrick was chosen for the award through a national consumer voting contest and a Blue Ribbon Panel of judges. He was one of 17 NFL players honored through the program this year.
"It's a great privilege to be honored for my accomplishments off the field and to be recognized among so many great athletes and humanitarians," said Dunn. "Community service
has always been the cornerstone of who I am, and I can't stress enough the value that giving back adds to your own life and how it truly enriches others."
To pay tribute to the 17 MVPs' community service efforts, The Home Depot teamed with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit, and local community partners to refurbish football fields and build playgrounds in each of the honorees' home markets. The players rolled up their sleeves and worked alongside The Home Depot associates and local volunteers to finish the renovation projects in just one day.
Throughout the 2007 season, more than 2,100 The Home Depot associates donated more than 12,750 hours of service to lay 750,000 square feet of sod, build planter and player benches, install goal posts, put up new fencing, and repair and paint bleachers, among other projects. As a result, nearly 140,000 children and families benefited from the new football fields and playgrounds.
The other players honored in The Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP program include: Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders; Gary Brackett, Indianapolis Colts; Isaac Bruce, St. Louis Rams; Daryn Colledge, Green Bay Packers; Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles; Lee Evans, Buffalo Bills; John Lynch, Denver Broncos; Rashean Mathis, Jacksonville Jaguars; Kevin Mawae, Tennessee Titans; Kassim Osgood, San Diego Chargers; Antwaan Randle El, Washington Redskins; Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins; Marcus Trufant, Seattle Seahawks; Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers; Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals; and Roy Williams, Dallas Cowboys.
Through the Neighborhood MVP program, The Home Depot has also partnered with United Way to recognize consumers who are making a positive impact in their local communities. Michele Kriz, a Tampa, Fla. native, was selected as the Consumer Neighborhood MVP based on her 10-plus years of work with Hands On Tampa Bay (HOT). In addition, The Home Depot also honored one of its store associates as the Associate Neighborhood MVP. Dann Kirby, garden department associate at store No. 1104 in Greenville, S.C., was honored for his more than 10 years of service at a local nursing home. Both MVPs received an all-expense paid trip to Super Bowl XLII.
The Home Depot became the 'official home improvement sponsor' of the National Football League through a multi-year integrated marketing partnership in late 2006. Through this agreement, The Home Depot became the official postgame sponsor of NFL Network's eight regular season games, called "The Home Depot Postgame Show," which begins on Thanksgiving night and runs through the final week of the regular season.