ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — One hardworking single mom in St. Pete became a first-time homeowner on Tuesday.
But the new house wasn't the only surprise.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Warrick Dunn was waiting in the driveway as Tomeka arrived at her new address.
The surprise was made possible by Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas & West Pasco Counties, which helps finance the home, and Aaron's, which provided 10,000 worth of furnishings, making the home move-in-ready on day one.
Warrick Dunn Charities is the former NFL star's non-profit that identifies single parents across the country and helps them achieve their goal of first-time homeownership. Dunn, who was raised by a single mother, was present at the home reveal to gift Tomeka a $5,000 down payment assistance check.
"The reaction and the emotion of a family going inside the home is priceless and that is something that will never get old," Dunn said. "When they walk through the home, open up the doors, those are moments that you can't replace."
Tomeka, a Pinellas County school bus driver, will be moving into her new home with her two teenage sons, 17-year-old Marcus and 16-year-old Marquez.
According to Habitat for Humanity, both sons are very active. With one of them standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 300 pounds, Tomeka is excited to have more space for her family.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas & West Pasco Counties "empowers individuals and families to build and buy their own homes with the help of people in our community," the organization's website reads.
Homes are sold at no interest to homeowners, who are prepared for success through classes on topics like budgeting and home maintenance.
This event marked Warrick Dunn Charities' 204th home event nationwide and the 57th in the Tampa Bay area alone.