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September 07 2005

USBancorp Strengthens Commitment to Operation HOPE Financial Literacy and Silver Rights

(Los Angeles) – Thursday, September 7, 2005 – Today Operation HOPE, Inc., the nation’s financial empowerment leader for the underserved, announced a 3-year $225,000 grant from U.S. Bancorp to provide general support for HOPE’s financial literacy education and empowerment programs. The funds will be used to support HOPE’s three most recognized initiatives: HOPE Centers, “Banking on Our Future” the youth financial literacy program, and HOPE’s Silver Rights Movement. Since 2002, U.S. Bancorp has steadily increased its funding and support of HOPE operations and programs.

“We salute U.S.Bancorp for its ongoing faith and support in Operation HOPE and our mission to eradicate poverty in the low-wealth communities. By their commitment to HOPE, U.S. Bank is providing opportunity and economic empowerment where it is needed most,” said John Bryant, HOPE’s founder, chairman, and CEO.

As America's first nonprofit social investment bank, HOPE has been delivering financial literacy and empowerment programs since 1992 and most recently initiated a Silver Rights Movement. The movement calls for a private/public partnership designed to educate 5 million youth in financial literacy education over the next 3 years through recruitment, grassroots involvement, and partnerships involving key federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, private-sector banks, financial services companies and corporations with a commitment to financial literacy.

HOPE’s “Banking on Our Future” program is a winner of the Oprah’s Angel Network award and the U.S. Treasury Department’s John Sherman Award for Financial Literacy Excellence. Using a growing network of trained HOPE Corps volunteers, “Banking on Our Future” has trained nearly 155,000 student’s nationwide to-date. Banking on Our Future provides an on the ground and online financial literacy program which teaches four core modules: (1) the basics of banking; (2) how to open and maintain a checking and savings account; (3) the power of credit; and (4) basic investments.

Located in 7 major markets in across the country, HOPE Centers offer a myriad of services designed to educate and empower residents in underserved communities. HOPE financial literacy and empowerment programs are delivered on multiple platforms which range from free digital literacy classes, workforce training, small business plans and financial seminars; including credit management, entrepreneurial training, and online banking through a Cyber Café network.

U.S. Bancorp, with assets of $204 billion, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,383 banking offices and 4,877 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is home of the Five Star Service Guarantee which assures customers of certain key banking benefits and services or customers will be paid for their inconvenience. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE) is America\'s first nonprofit social investment bank and a national provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment programs. Through ongoing collaborations and long-term partnerships with leading government, private sector, and community interests, HOPE works to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America\'s inner-city communities. HOPE Centers, a growing network of inner-city banking centers, have created more than 800 new homeowners and small business owners, more than $125 million in funded loans, and more than $210 million in commitments for homeownership and small business loans from their 250 bank and corporate partners. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and a network of private and community partners, HOPE Coalition America has provided free financial counseling and casework services to Americans affected by natural disasters and national emergencies in 125 cities in 35 states to date. Taken together, these programs make Operation HOPE the national leader in economic empowerment tools and services for the under-served in America. HOPE and its programs can be found online at
www.operationhope.org, www.bankingonourfuture.org , and www.hopecoalitionamerica.org.