On Tuesday, December 6, the HOPE Center team in Atlanta hosted “HOPE for the Holidays: A Client Appreciation Event” at The Cupcake Lounge in the Old Fourth Ward community, home of the forthcoming HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer.

The event was organized to recognize all the people who have been engaged by the newest HOPE Center team through classes, events or counseling. Although it was a rainy night, nearly twenty HOPE Center clients came to the chic lounge for networking, prizes, fun and of course, empowerment!

HOPE Financial Dignity Center Vice President, Walter Jackson gave a warm welcome, followed by introductions of the HOPE Center staff and a powerful testimonial by Yolanda Rolle, owner of P.I.E Realty, who gave a partnership recap praising Financial Management Consultant, Patrice Washington’s work with her staff and clients.

Taj Diallo, entrepreneur and owner of The Cupcake Lounge, was inspired to donate the space to Operation HOPE after hearing about the initiative surrounding small business and entrepreneurship. After dreaming of creating a lounge in a “new and thriving neighborhood,” Diallo settled on the Old Fourth Ward and launched in July 2010. With over a year of small business experience now under her belt, Diallo offered the dreamers in attendance a few words of sound, yet inspirational advice, “Be financially secure, have a solid partner, and never give up.”

One attendee who had recently signed up for both credit and money management courses, as well as the entrepreneurial training course, noted that she continues to be impressed with Operation HOPE’s services and staff. “The fact is families don’t teach what you need to know about business, that’s why I’m grateful for Operation HOPE.”

The event was a true success and sparked a new motivation for Operation HOPE clients to continue attending and utilizing the helpful resources and skills offered and for the HOPE Center staff to see the fruits of their collective efforts.