Last year, Operation HOPE saw an increase in demand for our services due to the harrowing effects the pandemic has had on people’s finances. Many of our clients needed help creating a financial plan and strategies for engaging their creditors. Many others, however, found themselves stuck between a rock and hard place, and had no relief in sight. To help alleviate the burden, we rolled out the HOPE Mini Grant program designed to help clients make ends meet or get over the hump to reach their next financial goal.*

Kathy Dudley was one of the recipients of the HOPE Mini Grant.

Kathy attended one of financial wellbeing coach Penny Southward’s credit and money management classes. She was interested in reclaiming her financial freedom and developing a positive money mindset. However, she was heavily in debt and didn’t know where to start.

Working with Penny, she developed a workable plan but the goal still seemed to be so far off. Compounding on the difficulty, Kathy spends a lot of time and resources caring for her son who has Asperger syndrome. Knowing what a hardworking and caring mother Kathy is for her son, and how hard she was working to get out of debt, Penny encouraged Kathy to apply for the HOPE Mini Grant to help with one of her outstanding debts.

After completing the required number of sessions and maintaining an active work plan, Kathy received the grant! The funds paid off one of her credit cards, which not only provided immediate relief, but it also helped boost her credit score. “Before that grant I felt like I was spinning my wheels,” she said. “But just having that one paid off has helped to continue to work on my credit my goal is to get out and stay out of debt.”

Kathy continues on her journey towards financial empowerment and economic freedom. Elated with her growth and outcomes, she has become an unofficial HOPE ambassador, telling everyone she knows about the credit and money management program and the expert-level help she received from her coach, Penny.

*The HOPE Mini Grant program is now closed to new applicants.