Tiffany Cobb, Staff Writer
On September 25, the golfers volunteered with Ty Pennington and the town of Waynesville, N.C. in a community improvement project.
An abandoned Department of Corrections facility in Hazelwood, N.C. was deemed appropriate for use as a soup kitchen and shelter for the homeless, a halfway house for newly released inmates and a Christ-centered rehabilitation service. Some 3,500 online votes and $50,000 in prize money later, the Ty Pennington Project: Haywood Pathways began.
Brad Caldwell, North Greenville University’s associate head golf coach, was asked by his hometown sheriff and pastor to join and find more volunteers to participate in the 24-hour Tear Down Day. Right away, he knew the golf teams were the perfect match.
"This was a unique opportunity for the golf teams to make a huge impact on a community, get some wide national/regional media exposure, and most importantly to serve," said Caldwell.
Tucker McDonald, a senior on the men's golf team, said, "It was cool to be able to work with Ty Pennington and the community and see all the energy that everyone had. People were there because they wanted to be and not just as a job. It was also really great to be able to spend time with both the golf teams."
The Ty Pennington Project, part of the Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge, is a national contest sponsored by The Learning Channel (TLC) and ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition. The winner of the national contest would get Pennington and his team to come to their city and complete a community project. Voting was done on Facebook and was created to raise awareness for needs in the community.
Ty Pennington said, “It’s been an overwhelming experience to be a part of the first Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge. To see all of the amazing work that’s being done by community organizations from coast to coast is truly inspiring, and I encourage everyone to visit the full list of the top 50 projects submitted and find one in their area to support.”
The Haywood Pathways project will house at least 120 people and include a kitchen program to feed and train residents. The Open Door Soup Kitchen in Waynesville has agreed to start the new soup kitchen open to residents and the community.
The project is also in talks with Goodwill and other area nonprofits to have job training opportunities ready for residents.
To learn more about the project or to find ways to participate, visit the Haywood Pathways Center Facebook page or call the Haywood County Sherriff’s office at 452-6768. The project needs donations and volunteers for skilled and unskilled labor.