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  • Guaranteed Rate Helps Give Back Challenge Winner Flip a Prison

    Guaranteed Rate visited the Haywood Pathways Center in Waynesville, N.C., along with home improvement expert Ty Pennington on Thursday, Sept. 25 to celebrate the grand prize in its first annual Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge. For winning the contest, Guaranteed Rate presented the organization with $50,000 plus Pennington’s help for a day at the project site to help “flip” the prison.

    Nearly 1,000 people converged on the site for a day of volunteer service and festivities. Guaranteed Rate officials received a warm, red-carpet welcome from the town, as well as the key to the city from Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown in a ceremony featuring an official proclamation declaring Sept. 25 as “Ty Pennington/Guaranteed Rate Day” to kick off the day’s activities, before volunteers began cleaning, painting and construction projects at the former prison. By the end of the day, a dramatic transformation was already evident.

    The Haywood Pathways Center is converting the site of a former prison in Haywood County, N.C., into a soup kitchen, homeless shelter and halfway house. The collaborative project between local government agencies, churches and non-profit organizations, which will remodel old prison dormitories into the shelter, seeks to transform lives by providing food, shelter, and a place to help ex-offenders rehabilitate into contributing citizens.

    The event was a fitting capstone for the Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge, a nationwide search for people and organizations who are leading projects that make meaningful impacts in their communities. In addition to the wave of volunteers and local officials in attendance, media from around the Carolinas descended on Waynesville to cover the event and interview Pennington, Guaranteed Rate officials, and the organizers of the Haywood Pathways Center. Seven TV stations, six radio stations and three daily newspapers from three states covered the grand prize event, resulting in more than 50 articles and broadcast segments. Photos from the event filled social media, with the special hashtag #TearDownTheseFences.

    Some other final totals from the first-ever Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge:

    • More than 320 entries received from 49 states.
    • Nearly 80,000 likes and votes received on the contest’s Facebook app.
    • More than 130 news articles and broadcast segments about the Challenge appeared in media outlets across 18 states.
    • Thousands of families helped from coast to coast.

    Thanks to all who participated, volunteered and voted in this year’s Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge for making it such a smashing success. 

    Take a look at the project from local news outlet coverage:

    Oct 1 2014