Founder's Note: A special thank you to my friends Alex B. Cummings and Ingrid Saunders Jones of Coca-Cola for their personal leadership around this important project both for Operation HOPE, and for Atlanta proper. Honored to be associated with a best in class brand such as the Coca-Cola Company, and its foundation, as well as first class people, the likes of Alex Cummings and Ms. Saunders Jones.
Atlanta, GA – March 9, 2011 – Operation HOPE (HOPE) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant announced that the Coca-Cola Foundation has donated a $100,000 grant to assist in building its flagship Financial Literacy Empowerment Center, which will be housed at the Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Complex at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. The HOPE Center is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2012.
“This is an exciting time for HOPE,” said Bryant, author of bestselling business book, “LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World” and member of the Obama Administration’s U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. “This is one of the largest donations to HOPE from a non-financial sector partner in our history. Coca-Cola’s heart and soul is in Atlanta and this grant truly shows that it cares about the economic well-being of its city.”
The Atlanta location will be the new flagship HOPE Center and will serve as a local empowerment center, a national model, and because of its association with the King legacy, a global symbol for good. Positioned as the anchor tenant for the new (under construction) Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Complex, located next to Ebenezer Baptist Church, the HOPE Center at Ebenezer represents the first outside nonprofit organization invited to operate within the greater King Center complex in more than 30 years.
The Atlanta HOPE Center at the King Complex, Ebenezer will provide: adult financial literacy education workshops on money management; budgeting and credit score improvement; qualification and filing assistance for Earned Income Tax Credits; credit and money management counseling; a homebuyers program to transform renters into first-time home owners; assistance with foreclosure prevention; twelve (12) week entrepreneurial training courses and small business technical assistance with one-on-one counseling and access to loans. HOPE currently operates in Atlanta and promotes financial literacy and economic empowerment through schools, churches, community centers and other grassroots organizations.
Momentum for the Atlanta HOPE Center continues to build as honorary partners George Andrews, president and CEO of Capitol City Bank and James Young, president and CEO of Citizens Trust Bank, along with SunTrust Bank, LPL Financial, State Farm Insurance, Wells Fargo and MasterCard have helped make this vision a reality.
The HOPE Center will cement HOPE's presence in the Atlanta area. Through its Banking on Our Future Program, HOPE has already taught financial literacy to almost 25,000 school children in the Atlanta area. Its Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline has helped modify or restructure more than $406 million in loans and aid over 1,350 homeowners avoid foreclosure nationally.