When Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was just 10 years old, hope came in the form of a Habitat for Humanity home.
He and his mom and three siblings lived in government housing in Georgia, where drug dealers and gang members thrived. When Watson went with a church group to trick-or-treat in a safer neighborhood, someone slipped a Habitat for Humanity pamphlet in his bag.
His mom saw it and checked it out. They went from a dangerous housing project to a nice home with a real front yard in the suburbs.
Watson never forgot the possibilities it offered and throughout his college career at Clemson University — where he lead their football team to a national championship — he spoke out on behalf of the nonprofit.
He’s doing the same in Houston, especially now that 176 Habitat for Humanity homes were damaged in Hurricane Harvey. Those homes in the northeast Houston neighborhoods of Greensbrook Manor and Harrel Park are now being rehabbed by Habitat for Humanity. As they finish and families get resettled, Ashley HomeStore will provide them with new furniture.
Watson will be on hand as the work is done and more than $1 million in home furnishings are delivered.
“Having a home is everything,” said Watson in a press release. “Besides calling attention to the work of Habitat for Humanity, I’ll be working with Ashley HomeStore to ensure every family gets the furniture they need.”
Ashley HomeStore CEO Gary Seals said he was inspired to contribute when he drove through the neighborhoods and saw piles of debris.
“Driving the streets of these neighborhoods with piles of memories stacked on the front lawns was all we had to see,” Seals said. “Then it was all about teaming up with Deshaun to get these families help.”
Allison Hay, Houston Habitat for Humanity’s executive director, said the local chapter is thrilled that the Texans quarterback is getting involved here.
“Having Deshaun Watson and Ashley team up for this kind of donation truly is a gift beyond our wildest dreams,” she said. “Ironically, just last year, one of our homeowners was gifted with furniture and goods by Warrick Dunn, the same person that helped Deshaun and his family move into their Habitat home in Georgia. Deshaun’s continued support with Ashley HomeStore certainly sends a strong message to our Habitat homeowners in Houston that we build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.”
Photo Credit: Jasper County Sun Times