Operation HOPE Partners with Wing 2 Wing Foundation to Provide Free Financial Coaching and Small Business Development Resources to Residents in West Virginia

Expansion of Operation HOPE services in Huntington includes a local certified financial coach with a focus on starting, growing and scaling new small businesses

HUNTINGTON, W.Va., June 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Operation HOPE, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping low and moderate-income Americans thrive in an ever-changing economy, today announced the expansion of its services into Huntington, West Virginia. With the generous support of the Wing 2 Wing Foundation, founded by esteemed philanthropists Brad D. and Alys Smith, Operation HOPE will introduce a financial coaching program to the community, offering vital financial education and small business coaching to local residents—at no cost.

The Wing 2 Wing Foundation is a Founding Circle member of “The 1865 Project,” an initiative aimed at growing and scaling the impactful work of Operation HOPE in communities across the U.S. As a result of this investment, Operation HOPE is partnering with in providing a dedicated financial wellness coach, who will be deeply embedded in the fabric of the Huntington, West Virginia community. Drawing on his knowledge of local needs and aspirations, the Operation HOPE coach will provide personalized guidance and support to individuals striving to improve their financial health and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

John Hope Bryant, Chairman, Founder, and CEO of Operation HOPE, emphasized the organization’s unwavering commitment to serving communities like Huntington. “Operation HOPE is proud to partner with local stakeholders, including the Wing 2 Wing Foundation, to bring essential resources to the hardworking residents of Huntington,” Bryant stated. “Through ‘The 1865 Project,’ we are seeking to grow and scale our efforts finishing the work President Lincoln started with the Freedman’s Bank—to empower individuals and communities with the financial know-how and entrepreneurial acumen needed to thrive.”

“Operation HOPE’s model for uplifting communities and meeting people where they are, regardless of income or circumstance, is both inspiring and a necessary service for the community,” said Alys and Brad D. Smith, co-founders of the Wing 2 Wing Foundation. “We’re excited to welcome a coach who is deeply rooted in the community, which epitomizes our shared dedication to fostering trust and understanding. Together we can empower families who are striving to achieve financial stability and economic independence.”

Nathaniel Petrosky, a seasoned financial coach with over a decade of experience, will spearhead the Huntington-based Operation HOPE team. In addition to offering in-person coaching sessions, the program will feature free virtual workshops and comprehensive online resources, ensuring accessibility for all residents.

Huntington, nestled along the scenic banks of the Ohio River, boasts a rich cultural heritage and a resilient community spirit. Recognized for its vibrant arts scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, and thriving local businesses, Huntington is a city brimming with potential. However, like many communities across the nation, its residents face challenges in accessing the tools and resources needed to achieve financial security and entrepreneurial success.

According to the HOPE Financial Wellness Index, which uses anonymized data to map credit scores nationwide, the average credit score in West Virginia is 680. The expansion of “The 1865 Project” underscores each organization’s broader mission to champion human dignity and financial wellness for all Americans.

About Wing 2 Wing Foundation
Wing 2 Wing Foundation is a philanthropic organization dedicated to empowering communities and fostering positive change by supporting initiatives that promote education, entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment. For more information about Wing 2 Wing Foundation, please visit: Wing 2 Wing Foundation

About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “Silver Rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through its award-winning community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed nearly $4 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Operation HOPE recently received Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Award for driving entrepreneurship as well as its eighth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability from the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. This year, HOPE also launched The 1865 Project, an initiative designed to help level the economic playing field for underserved Americans. For more information: Join the conversation on social media at @operationHOPE.

Media Contacts:
Lalohni Campbell, Per/Se Media Group

Access Brand Communications 

SOURCE Operation HOPE, Inc.

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