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July 10 2013

Operation HOPE Meets with Alabama Governor Bentley to Discuss Financial Dignity and Economic Growth

Atlanta – July 11, 2013 –
Operation HOPE (HOPE) executive staff travelled to Alabama June 28th to meet with Alabama Governor Robert Julian Bentley and other state officials to discuss a collaborative effort to expand Operation HOPE programs in Alabama beyond the existing small business disaster recovery office in Birmingham.

Governor Bentley, along with Jim Byard, director of Department of Economic and Community Affairs, and Art Faulkner, director of Alabama Emergency Management Agency, hosted John Hope Bryant, HOPE founder, chairman and CEO, Fred Smith, president of HOPE Coalition America, and James Bailey, HOPE Atlanta Market CEO, at the state capitol in Montgomery to look for ways to boost Alabama's economy through HOPE’s financial literacy programs for youth and adults.

Focused on economic growth and opportunity, the meeting explored ideas on ways to bring HOPE Inside offices to Alabama. These locations would offer several programs that could aid in improving the lives of Alabamians, including: HOPE Business In A Box, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), 700 Credit Score, and America 2020, in addition to the Preparation and Recovery Seminars and disaster financial recovery services already available for disaster survivors.  

Alabama experienced one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history when 62 tornadoes killed more than 250 Alabamians and destroyed two-thirds of the state during Bentley’s first year as governor. Since those tornadoes in late April 2011, HOPE’s disaster recovery division, HOPE Coalition America (HCA) has provided disaster survivors help in filing insurance claims, obtaining lost or destroyed documents, working with creditors, home inspection and rebuild guidance, as well as other services. Most recently HOPE received a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to establish a small businesses recovery and resiliency office.

HCA is a collaborative effort that allows knowledgeable, responsible individuals employed in the regulated financial services industry to provide one-on-one assistance to individuals and families recovering from disasters. Since its formation in 2001, the result of a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, HCA has helped more than 400,000 individuals and small business recover from 35 disasters.

HOPE's mission is making free enterprise work for all as the best-in-class provider of silver rights empowerment. It works as the nonprofit private banker for the working poor, the underserved, and the struggling middle class.