The Coca-Cola Foundation last week joined a growing list of corporate sponsors who’ve committed to helping Operation HOPE eradicate poverty in the United States. The much appreciated support came as a $100,000 grant donated by Coca-Cola to assist in building our flagship Financial Literacy Empowerment Center in Atlanta, GA. The center will be housed at the Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Complex at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2012.
The new center is the embodiment of a 5-year national Framework Agreement signed between HOPE and the Financial Services Round-table. The project is also being supported by FSR inspired commitments from SunTrust, State Farm Insurance, LPL Financial, Wells Fargo and MasterCard, as well as other significant commitments from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
This is an exciting time for HOPE, as it is one of the largest donations to HOPE from a non-financial sector partner in our history. Coca-Cola’s donation brings the total committed to the HOPE Center at Ebenezer initiative at $4.6 million. Our goal is to raise $10 million over 5-years.
Our founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant, aptly noted that “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.” Bryant described the new center as one of the “most important initiatives for Operation HOPE” in a post on his blog over the weekend in which he also shared photos from the construction site, as well as an overall background of and vision for the new facility.
The HOPE Center at Ebenezer, the new national flagship HOPE Center location and “the new moral center” for Operation HOPE, will serve as a local empowerment center, a national model, and because of its association with the King legacy, a global symbol for good post global economic crisis.
With the help of partners such as SunTrust, State Farm Insurance, LPL Financial, Wells Fargo and MasterCard, the HOPE Center at Ebenezer will feature a series of on-the-ground operational pilots of financial literacy-centric financial products, tools and services, both relative to the under-served, as the middle class.
We believe this new flagship HOPE Center will cement our role in the Atlanta area as a force for economic empowerment for the city’s under-served. We’ve been very active in the community over the years, teaching financial literacy to almost 25,000 school children in the Atlanta area through our Banking on Our Future program, while our Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline has helped thousands of residents of Georgia and the Southeast Region restructure or modify their mortgages to avoid foreclosures.
Here’s a pretty comprehensive photo gallery from the construction site: