Gabby Wicks and her two sons walked into their new, fully-furnished home on Tuesday afternoon — completely built and outfitted through support and funds from local charities and volunteers.

"Thank you so much, this is a blessing," Wicks said, tears welling in her eyes. "It's a dream come true, I'm excited, I'm emotional."

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge, with students and staff from Catholic High School, built the home for Wicks' family: a three-bedroom, two-bath house. Then, Warrick Dunn Charities, the nonprofit of the Baton Rouge-raised NFL player that helps single moms get started in their new homes, completely outfitted the home with furniture, electronics, kitchenware and even food in the pantry — and even put $5,000 on the down payment.

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"I understand the need for affordable housing in this country," Dunn said. "But at the same time, it's about individuals that are committed to putting their family in a better situation."

Dunn's mother, Betty Smothers, who was also a single mom, was gunned down while on duty as a Baton Rouge police officer in 1993. He said his charity honors her legacy. 

"Her dream and her goal was to provide a better environment; she wanted to make sure we had a roof over our heads but also a place we could call home," Dunn said. "Every family I've been able to assist, people are making this sacrifice, they just need that extra hand to keep moving forward."


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Follow Grace Toohey on Twitter, @grace_2e.