According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, NACA says 40,000 people attended its Save the Dream event in St. Louis last weekend. KTVI Fox 2 in St. Louis reported the same figure in their coverage below.
According to NACA, 50,000 people attended it's event in Chicago the weekend before that. Gailann Jarocki of the Chicago Residential Examiner listed 16 lenders who were going to be on-site at the event. And WLS-TV ABC 7 in Chicago was there to document the event.
And according to NACA, 35,000 people attended the Save the Dream event in Cleveland. Although some were disputing this number, Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-11th District), who brought NACA to Cleveland, bristled at the mistrust and skepticism over NACA and the Save the Dream event.
"This is jealousy of the worst kind," she told WKYC in a phone call from Washington. "Every time we get something good going that's helping people, there is somebody to try to tear it down."
Now, I find it interesting that most of the people who are questioning the numbers are from organizations that should have been doing something to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, restructure home loans, and reduce mortgage rates -- but got upstaged by NACA, a national non-profit community advocacy and homeownership organization headquartered in Boston.
According to NACA CEO Bruce Marks, "The NACA homeownership program, which is without cost to those participating, is our answer to the huge subprime and predatory lending industry. NACA has conclusively shown that when working people get the benefit of a prime rate loan, they can resolve their financial problems, make their mortgage payments and become prime borrowers. NACA's track record of helping people who have credit problems become homeowners or restructuring a predatory loan debunks the myth that high rates and fees are necessary to compensate for their credit risk."
But, I also have my own reality check. My wife looked at the list of cities on the Save the Dream tour and didn't see Boston, where NACA is headquartered. But she knew a friend that needed their help, so she recommend that she call NACA's toll-free number: 1-888-302-NACA. According to my wife, her friend got help with her predatory or unaffordable mortgage.
NACA has now arrived in Atlanta, Georgia, where they will hold another Save the Dream event from Friday, August 7, until Tuesday, August 11. In other words, they've added an extra day to deal with the volume of people expected to turn out.
So, quibble about the numbers, if you want to. The reason I'm going to feature NACA's case study at the "How to Optimize for Search & Engage the Community" session in the Search & Community Track at SES San Jose 2009 on Tuesday, August 11, at 10:30 a.m. I'm doing this because NACA has exceeded the combined total of 25,000 homeowners, who participated in the first three Save the Dream events in Columbia, SC, Stamford, CT, and Washington, DC.
They've done this with an integrated marketing campaign that includes search engine optimization, public relations, social media, and video marketing.
That's a story worth telling.
And I'm going to showcase "Documentary: NACA's 'Save the Dream' - Mortgage Restructuring and Renegotiation Rescues Homeowners" during the session entitled, "What Works: Best Practices / Case Studies for Online Video," which will be held at the San Jose Marriott at the Social Media & Video Strategies Forum on Tuesday, August 11 at 3 p.m.
That's because this is a story worth retelling.