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June 08 2011

Operation HOPE Founder Tours Storm-Ravaged Areas of Alabama

John Hope Bryant meets with officials from FEMA, offers assistance to area residents affected by the recent storms

Atlanta, GA -- June 8, 2011– Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant met with several officials on June 4th from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on-the-ground and locals in Bessemer, Birmingham, Hoover and Pleasant Grove, Alabama affected by the recent tornadoes. Continuing their support in the area, the HOPE Disaster Assistance Hotline is available at 888-388-HOPE (4673) to aid those seeking ongoing financial support. Since the storm in late April, the hotline has received over 700 calls for assistance providing those in need with one-on-one guidance.

“As a partner with FEMA, HOPE assists disaster survivors regain financial stability after disasters and emergencies,” said Bryant who is a member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability and the bestselling author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World. “Visiting affected areas allows us see first-hand how our services n help communities get back on their feet and reminds us how important it is to keep moving forward.”

Through HOPE Coalition America (HCA), the emergency response division of HOPE, HCA co-coordinates their efforts through that local and national governments as well as with FEMA, the American Red Cross, and the National Voluntary Organizations Active In Disasters (NVOAD) to provide services to individuals in affected areas.

Bryant also met local members of the community including James and Marion Dudley who were deeply affected by the recent tornado.

HCA services include:

• Assistance in working with one’s creditors with obtaining lost or destroyed documents
• Emergency budget guidance and credit management
• Referrals to government and private agencies for assistance
• Insurance claims assistance
• How to apply for home loan modifications and avoid foreclosure

In April 2011, HOPE and FEMA renewed their 10-year partnership by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that seeks to strengthen and expand their work to provide financial counseling resources to disaster survivors. The agreement establishes HOPE as a secondary responder to federal disaster areas and allows them to utilize Disaster Recovery Centers services and locations, helping families recuperate in the shortest possible time. Established after the attacks of September 11th and active in every major national disaster since, HCA is the only financial emergency preparedness and recovery service in the country. Those interested in becoming a HOPE Corps volunteer in affected areas can register here.

About Operation HOPE
Founded in 1992, social empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE's mission is to expand economic opportunity in under-resourced communities through financial literacy education. Raising more than $500 million and directing and restructuring nearly $500 million more in mortgages and economic support from the private sector, for a total of approximately $1 billion dollars in economic activity, HOPE seeks dignity and empowerment for all. Follow Operation HOPE at www.operationhope.org, www.twitter.com/operationhope, and www.facebook.com/operationhope.