LOS ANGELES—AUGUST 27, 2007 -- Longtime Operation HOPE (HOPE) National Board Member, William A. Hanna and his wife Barbara affirmed their personal commitment to the organization, donating a record $100,000 to the nonprofit and at the same time presenting another $100,000 matched-commitment from the Jacobs Trust on behalf of family friend Mrs. Violet Jacobs. The donation becomes the largest personal contribution on record for HOPE. Their donation Mr. Hanna hopes, will motivate other high-net worth donors to match the commitment, and encourage others to give whatever they can to the award-winning financial literacy organization.
"The issue of financial literacy has never been more important. We could have singled out any number of charities, but our long-term commitment to John Bryant and Operation HOPE prompted my wife Barbara and me, to make this gift and encourage Mrs. Jacobs to do the same." Mr. Hanna continued, "Open the newspaper almost every day and the evidence of this need spills out with alarming urgency. Victims of natural disasters, financial scams, mortgage abuse, credit card enticement are all issues being addressed by Operation HOPE across the country and across the globe. Barbara and I are only sorry we could not do more now. While many other community groups, with similarly lofty goals, have flamed out, Operation HOPE has persevered and has kept focus on what needs to be done. We saw John and his colleagues working very hard to empower underserved communities and! were impressed with their accomplishments. We knew if we gave the money to Operation HOPE, they would change the world for someone. That said, Operation HOPE can count on our additional support in the future and we encourage others to do the same."
Since its founding in 1992, HOPE has become an international organization and an established leader in financial literacy. HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant expressed surprise and enormous gratitude at the generous and unexpected contribution. “For once, I was totally speechless. William and Barbara Hanna’s generous donation exemplifies their faith and understanding of the work that we do here at HOPE,” he said. “Compounded by that fact, their gesture resulted in a matching-contribution from the Jacobs Family Trust, and indirectly inspired a high school principal to donate $450 to educate ten children through Banking on Our Future the same week. Even more humbling, I and we never asked for any of these contributions. It was their choice and their idea, because they believe in the power of our work, period. Contributions of this personal magnitude, I will never forget.”
In his twelve years on the national board, Mr. Hanna has been an integral part of HOPE’s continued growth. A member of the Executive Board, he also chairs HOPE’s Audit Committee and serves on the Executive Compensation and Benefits Committee. He is the president and chief executive officer of Pacific Western Bank’s Los Angeles Region. Mr. Hanna is also a member of Pacific Western's Board of Directors. Pacific Western Bank a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Community Bancorp, has also supported HOPE programs.
HOPE operates principally on donations from financial institutions and funding from various government grants. The non-restricted contribution is expected to go towards expanding program offices in Africa that teach its award-winning youth and adult financial literacy initiatives known as “silver rights”. These programs educate individuals on intelligent money management, saving, investment and business development. To date, Operation HOPE has inspired and educated more than 240,000 youth and assisted some 140,000 adults with financial literacy counseling, case management, and digital empowerment.
Those interested in making a donation to HOPE’s silver rights campaign for empowering underserved and disenfranchised communities, are urged to visit HOPE on the web at www.operationhope.org .