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May 05 2017

Operation HOPE marks 25 Years of Financial Dignity Empowerment

ATLANTA – May 5, 2017 – Today, global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE, Inc. marks its 25th anniversary. Founded on May 5, 1992, by John Hope Bryant in the aftermath of the destruction of the Los Angeles Riots, the organization works to transform low-wealth communities by delivering personal financial empowerment to youth and adults needed to succeed in the free enterprise system.

“We are pleased to celebrate 25 years of HOPE,” Bryant said. “I am grateful to every partner, every employee, every believer, every client, and every community stakeholder that has contributed to the impact of the work of HOPE across the nation and around the world.”

The impact of the work of Operation HOPE to date, includes the following results:

- 1.8 million adults empowered with financial dignity

- 1 million youth empowered with financial literacy

- 55,000 small business clients served through HOPE Coalition America's financial preparedness and recovery assistance

- $2.4 billion in economic activity directed into underserved communities

- 62 HOPE Inside locations open; commitments for 250 more within the next 18 months, and over 400 by 2020

- Earned Income Tax Credit awards secured for 2,259 individuals

- 710 new businesses created through the HOPE Entrepreneurship Training Program

- 25,000 HOPE Corps volunteers

- 896,000 youth educated through the award-winning Banking On Our Future financial literacy program

- 2,000 youth entrepreneurs supported through HOPE Business In A Box Academies; over 500 youth businesses started

- 7,500 individuals served through the HOPE 700-Credit-Score-Communities initiative

- 25% of clients achieved a 700+ credit score after 6 months of coaching

Following 9/11, Operation HOPE worked with the federal government to draft the first-ever financial disaster response and recovery policy. Operation HOPE is responsible for financial literacy becoming the policy of the U.S. federal government in January 2008 with President George W. Bush. In January 2016, the organization’s mission inspired the renaming of a building on the White House campus by then Treasury Secretary Jack Lew of the Obama administration, when the U.S. Treasury Annex Building was renamed the Freedman’s Bank Building. 

American Banker magazine named Bryant, and by extension, Operation HOPE, 2016 “Innovator of the Year,” for delivering “silver rights” through Operation HOPE’s programs and network. Most notably, the HOPE Inside model was highlighted for delivering individual and social impact while simultaneously generating business impact for Operation HOPE partners.

In April 2017, a historical marker inspired by Bryant to honor the final flight of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis on April 3, 1968, was installed at the Memphis International Airport 49 years to the day that Eastern Flight 381 arrived there from Atlanta. Last month, Operation HOPE hosted 3,500 delegates from over 40 countries at its most successful Hope Global Forums Annual Meeting to date. The three-day event is now the largest and most prominent gathering of leaders in the world focused exclusively on financial inclusion and the empowerment of the poor.

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About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to "silver rights" with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. Through its core programs, the nonprofit has provided financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.8 million individuals worldwide, and $2.4 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers.  Project 5117 is HOPE’s multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequa lity that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth, and stabilize the American dream by boosting credit scores. Operation HOPE recently received its second consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator—further establishing it as a best-in-class organization. 

For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org

Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter @operationhope