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WASHINGTON-NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson and other government officials joined Operation HOPE for a press conference aimed at rallying volunteers to provide counseling to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Project Restore HOPE, led by Operation Hope, Inc. Founder and Chairman John Bryant, will focus on volunteer emergency preparedness, response and guidance to individuals and small businesses affected by the recent hurricane disasters. The press conference took place at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and included officials from a number of Federal government offices, including the White House. “NCUA is extremely pleased to partner with FEMA and Operation Hope on this initiative to assist those displaced by Hurricane Katrina,” Johnson said. “The credit union community has responded with great compassion. I encourage that spirit to continue through this effort to providing financial counseling and support for those who are in great need of economic empowerment more than ever.” HOPE Coalition America will use its general corps of volunteers for outreach and is interested in getting professional volunteers from banks and credit unions to help with emergency economic counseling, emergency budget counseling, and economic triage counseling provided through HCA and its partners. HCA is looking for 5,000 volunteers and NCUA is encouraging its staff and credit unions to pitch in. Project Restore HOPE will be comprised of several moving parts, such as call center volunteers, FEMA Disaster Recovery Center/HCA field office volunteers, street team volunteers, and virtual help-center volunteers. For more information on volunteer opportunities with Project Restore Hope visit www.operationhope.org. Hurricane Katrina victims seeking help with finances should call (888) 388-HOPE (4673).

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