NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE) is pleased to announce it is joining forces with private and public sector organizations to provide long-term financial recovery information, guidance and empowerment services to small businesses, families and individuals devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Ares Capital, Allstate, Aon, HSBC, and Transunion are among the initial group of companies making a commitment to help the HOPE recovery initiative – Project Restore HOPE: Hurricane Sandy.
Project Restore HOPE is a collaboration of Operation HOPE's disaster preparedness and recovery division, HOPE Coalition America (HCA), private sector financial institutions and government agencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also been an avid supporter and team member of Project Restore HOPE. The goal of the team project is to provide long-term economic revitalization and empowerment services and programs to survivors of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey on-the-ground, and via a toll-free hotline in the District of Columbia and the other 11 recovering states. The effort will provide financial guidance to the survivors of the hurricane, including:
- Recovery budget preparation and emergency credit management
- Working with individuals to help them understand and complete the insurance claim process
- Referrals to government and private agencies providing assistance
- Assistance with obtaining copies of lost or destroyed documents
- Assistance completing applications for grants and loans
- Assistance with modifying and restructuring credit and loan obligations
The announcement comes following a meeting hosted by Michael Arougheti , president of Ares Capital, in New York City on December 11. Executives from the country's top financial services firms, accounting firms, law firms, as well as public sector leaders from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) attended to discuss Hurricane Sandy recovery and their commitments. The meeting included a presentation by FEMA Deputy Administrator Tim Manning , who briefed corporate partners on the status of recovery efforts in the areas most impacted by the hurricane and on the need for more private sector support for individuals and small businesses.
"The destruction that was experienced by hundreds of thousands of residents in the tri-state area due to Hurricane Sandy was felt deeply within the business community," said Michael Arougheti , president of Ares Capital. "This meeting was a first step in our effort to demonstrate the business community's commitment to help impacted families and individuals get back on their feet. I am pleased with the working partnership that has been formed with Operation HOPE, FEMA, Ares Capital and other partners, as we are deeply invested in this recovery effort."
"In the midst of this disaster, it is heartwarming to see the whole community – both inside and outside government – come together to help those in need," said Tim Manning , FEMA Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness. "There is much more work ahead, but working as a team, we can help the region come back stronger and more vibrant than ever."
In November, HOPE deployed HCA Director, Jason Yancey to New York and New Jersey to help recruit, coordinate and train volunteers to provide financial recovery assistance to individuals and business owners affected by the devastating storm. HOPE plans to deploy eight additional employees and 400 volunteers in New York and New Jersey.
"For many victims of Hurricane Sandy, there is very little that will alleviate the destruction that this storm wrought on their lives, but we are working to provide a recovery support system through the programs we established in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," said John Hope Bryant , founder and CEO of Operation HOPE. "Through Project Restore HOPE, we will help families and individuals with financial challenges great and small in the wake of this natural disaster, including families that have a mortgage payment, but no home, or a car payment but their car was destroyed, or have lost income because their business was down. The fact that this project will be supported by this public-private partnership demonstrates the spirit of giving that exists to ensure that those most impacted by the storm can make a complete economic recovery from this disaster."
Project Restore HOPE is a resource that individuals, families and small businesses should use to assist in their recovery process. Supported by CoreLogic, HOPE's toll-free hotline is available for financial recovery information to individuals and businesses in need of guidance. Anyone affected by the devastating effects of Sandy should call the HCA toll-free hotline at 888-388-HOPE (4673) to receive the free disaster financial recovery services. Organizations that participated in the meeting included:
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Ofc. of Comptroller of the Currency
To learn more about Project Restore HOPE and all of the other services offered by Operation HOPE, please visit our website at www.operationhope.org.
About HOPE Coalition America
HCA is a collaborative effort that allows knowledgeable, responsible individuals employed in the expanded financial services industry to provide one-on-one assistance to individuals, families and small businesses recovering from disasters. Since its formation in 2001, the result of a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, the division focuses on providing guidance and counseling to help individuals, businesses and families rebuild or recover from financial emergencies, such as natural disaster, personal tragedy or national emergency. With the support of CoreLogic, Operation HOPE created a toll-free, crisis hotline for individuals that need answers and guidance, to ensure services were available nationwide, 24/7. HCA has distributed over 500,000 copies of the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) and the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide (PDPG) in addition to providing post-disaster financial triage in many states for more than 30 disasters, including the 2004 Florida Hurricanes, Hurricane Katrina, various storms and floods, and the California Wildfires.
About Operation HOPE
Operation HOPE, Inc. is a global nonprofit social investment banking and financial dignity empowerment organization. Through several global initiatives and three principal financial dignity programs: Banking on Our Future (teaching school children about money), HOPE Coalition America (financial emergency preparedness and disaster financial recovery), and the HOPE Financial Dignity Centers (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), HOPE is leading the "silver rights" movement to make free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities.
SOURCE Operation HOPE