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September 03 2009

Operation HOPE's Recovery Programs Have Helped over 125,000 Individuals and Businesses Rebuild

Katrina recovery assistance continues to help those affected
to recover and rebuild homes and businesses

Los Angeles, CA—September 30, 2009 — In observance of National Preparedness Month, Operation HOPE (HOPE) announces today results of its continued efforts have helped 127,873 Katrina affected individuals rebuild their homes and restore their businesses. Meeting the demand for services has grown the financial literacy nonprofit’s office from its original part-time staff to 16 full-time individuals to meet the need of the still struggling population some four years after Hurricane Katrina.

“Operation HOPE is recognizing National Preparedness Month this September, by announcing program results. We are also urging individuals and families to prepare before a disaster or emergency strikes,” said HOPE Regional Manager Oliver Bell. “The sting of Katrina is still being felt in the gulf region. By organizing your records you speed up the recovery process, at Operation HOPE we are still helping individuals recover, as well as help them prepare their records, so in case of another emergency, they can recover much faster.”

HOPE was one of the first organizations on hand to help Katrina affected individuals, families and businesses begin to rebuild. To date, HOPE has helped 127,873 individuals and businesses in the gulf area recover through the following programs:

Small Businesses Assisted
14,646

Volunteers Recruited
3,375

Home Rebuilding Guidance
20,205
Emergency Financial First Aid Kits Distributed
128,278

Personal Disaster Preparedness Guides Distributed
54,933


Ms. Sandra Olmedo, owner of Bilingual Resources Group, LLC and Ms. Angel Bell are classic examples of how HOPE works to empower clients.

Ms. Bell was the first client to come in for a business plan when the Technical Assistance for Firm (TASF) program started. Although she was employed she had dreams of starting her own day care center for infants in her home. HOPE helped her develop a business plan. Then she went to growing her day care to eight infants, the state maximum for a private home. She is saving money to lease a building and plans to start a center with 25 to 50 children in the future.

Ms. Olmedo recently received a contract from Associated Builders Contractors (ABC), Inc. of St. Rose, Louisiana to provide Spanish and English classes to ABC personnel and the construction community. It took Ms. Olmedo two years to obtain this contract. Her persistency finally paid off. HOPE provided Ms. Olmedo with in-house coaching, marketing training, accounting and legal services. In addition to attending many of the free workshops and seminars, HOPE assisted her to develop a service agreement and sales performance checklist to monitor the progress of a newly hired Sales Representative.

For the past 17 years the organization has been putting financial literacy at the forefront of the nation’s agenda, empowering both adult and youth in financial literacy, through its core programs: HOPE Coalition America - the financial emergency preparedness and recovery division, currently featuring the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline (888-388-HOPE); Banking on Our Future – the youth financial literacy training portfolio; the HOPE Banking Center Network – brick and mortar centers featuring internet access, credit management, home and small business loans, and with strong support from our growing family of more than 8,000 HOPE Corps volunteers.

In recognition of Emergency Preparedness Month, a series of Hurricane Preparedness Meetings have been scheduled for September 24, 26 and 29th. Please visit the link to www.ready.gov to get all the details.

Operation HOPE provides its economic empowerment programs through a series of collaborations with private sector, community and government partners, without which the success of these initiatives would not be possible. For a more about HOPE or how you can become a volunteer log onto www.operationhope.org. 

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