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October 04 2005

Strategic Partnership, Increases Provides Aid to Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

(Los Angeles) - Wednesday, October 4, 2005. Non-profit, financial empowerment leader Operation HOPE, Inc., in conjunction with its emergency financial response and recovery division, HOPE Coalition America (HCA), announced today that TransUnion, a leading credit reporting companies, has joined in HOPE's plan to rebuild the lives of the victims from the recent, Hurricane Katrina and boost HOPE's continued efforts to educate and empower the underserved with a $100,000 grant contribution, and educational assistance for consumers affected by the storm.

HOPE Founder and CEO John Bryant said, "After a disaster, financial issues affect more people than personal injury. Already over 1,000,000 individuals have contacted FEMA for help. These people will need assistance rebuilding their financial affairs. HOPE, working with the support of thoughtful sponsors like TransUnion will help individuals and families regain their financial health. Without the support of caring organizations like TransUnion, HOPE would not be able to administer the financial counseling assistance and emergency budgeting support, or what we call 'economic triage,' necessary to rebuild their economic stability.

HOPE Coalition was created in 2001 in response to the 9/11 tragedy, joining forces with Department of Homeland Security FEMA and Citizen Corps, a division of the nationwide grass-roots initiative, to actively involve Americans in creating safer, stronger and better prepared communities. Project Restore HOPE - Hurricane Katrina was created to administer 'economic triage,' financial counseling and emergency budgeting, to the victims of Hurricane Katrina by recruiting and deploying volunteers to work in financial reconstruction response and recovery teams for on-the-ground efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and in call centers located in Poway, CA and Dallas, TX.

Through our own initiatives and our partnership with Operation Hope, TransUnion is committed to helping victims of the recent hurricanes understand the impact of these disasters on their credit health, so they can better manage the financial impact and more quickly go about the process of rebuilding, explained Colleen Tunney, TransUnion’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs. 

About TransUnion
TransUnion is a leading global information solutions company helping businesses and consumers around the globe achieve their goals. Through education, tools and a suite of secure and easy-to-use products and services, TransUnion helps millions of consumers better understand, manage and leverage their credit health. Founded in 1968, Chicago-based TransUnion employs 4,100 associates and has operations in more than 30 countries. Visit us at TransUnion.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. At the core of HOPE’s mission to eradicate poverty and empower the wealthless is a movement to establish “Silver Rights” or the right to financial literacy, access to capital, and equality of opportunity for the underserved.  Three key initiatives work to fulfill HOPE’s goals “Banking on Our Future (BOOF),” HOPE Coalition (HCA) and HOPE Centers.

HOPE Centers are responsible for more than 800 new homeowners and small business owners, over $125 million in funded loans, and an excess of $240 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 is HOPE’s disaster recovery and financial reconstruction pre and post emergency division. It 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. HOPE’s financial literacy program BOOF, winner of Oprah’s Angel Network Award teaches money management basics to students nationwide through classrooms and online.

Taken together, these programs make 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.

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