When you’re sitting in the middle of history it feels like just another day. It’s only when you look back in time that you’re able to reflect and appreciate things that have happened through the lens of significance.
As I think back on Operation HOPE’s 28 years of service and celebrate our founding, I find myself humbled, and in awe, by how far the power of partnership and the determination of the human spirit has brought us. What began as a simple dream for my community in Los Angeles, California, has transformed into a nationwide network of transformative impact, touching millions of lives with financial literacy and dignity, and inspiring individuals to take charge of their financial futures.
Together, we have changed lives and we’ll continue together to change our nation and the world. With partners ranging from FEMA, to UPS, the NFL, and a number of major financial institutions, including U.S. Bank, SunTrust/Trust, Wells Fargo, First Horizon, and many others, we are proving our philosophy that everyone—regardless of race and social class—has the capability of both attaining and reclaiming their financial dignity, when equipped with the tools and discipline to see the process through.
Since our inception in 1992, we have empowered more than 4.5 million lives with financial dignity; have helped create nearly 2,000 small businesses, spurring local economic growth; and have helped clients obtain $3.5 billion in mortgage lending. Now that’s something to celebrate!
While we are proud to have made a tremendous impact, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We must continue pressing ahead with the work at hand and reach more people with our message. Even now, as COVID-19 ravages our nation and the world, we find that our work is more important than ever. Fathers and mothers find themselves doubling as breadwinners and teachers, adult children are finding ways to become long-distance caregivers to their aging parents, and homeowners and entrepreneurs alike are desperately seeking ways to protect the investments they’ve made.
In the midst of all of the questions, fear, and confusion, Operation HOPE is ready to step in and lend a helping hand. Our reach extends through a nationwide network of more than 150 HOPE Inside locations, spanning across 22 states, and serving individuals from 46 states, Washington D.C., and the island of Puerto Rico. After recently sharing our mission on CBS This Morning with Gayle King and NBC New NOW with Stephanie Ruhle, we have seen a significant increase in demand for our services. As American workers continue to connect with us through existing relationships with financial wellbeing coaches and through our national call center, we have made connecting with our coaches and accessing our services even easier with our new HOPE In Hand mobile app, which is available for download on both Apple and Google Play Store.
Without the shadow of a doubt, this is a historic moment for our nation and the world. The future has yet to be written and we are actively in the process of reshaping our global reality. But one thing is for sure—Operation HOPE is ready, willing, and able to continue working as America’s Financial Coach and we will do our level best to bring financial equity and inclusion to all.
Please feel free to celebrate our birthday by giving towards impact at operationhope.org/donate and register for our rescheduled celebration of financial inclusion at the upcoming HOPE Global Forums 2020 Annual Meeting in October by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you there as we explore the topic “The Future of Capitalism”.