I am so very pleased that Operation HOPE will soon be able to move its 'silver rights' empowerment agenda, and specifically our HOPE Office of Small Business & Entrepreneurship work focused on nurturing and bringing up growing small business, minority small business and entrepreneurship in the state. I am particularly thankful to leaders in and out of the state that encouraged our engagement on the ground there in the weeks and months following these devastating tornadoes. Finally, I want to thank the U.S. Economic Development Administration and its leadership for the federal support here, which will be amplified by and further supported with private sector support. More on our plans in and for the state and her people to come.
That said, I was so distressed that in the period immediately following the worst tornadoes recorded in the southern states, and Alabama in particular, Operation HOPE and I were not in a position to help. Ultimately, I was actually a little disappointed in myself. We followed all the rules. I and we waited to make sure we had covered all the appropriate bases, paid respect to all leaders at the state, county, city and local level, and we covered all the appropriate protocols as a national partner for FEMA around emergency financial disaster preparedness, response and recovery. We even opened up our national call center for HOPE Coalition America based in Poway, California, a donation made available through our partner CoreLogic. And yes, of course we helped each and everyone of those that called us. But what we should have done is different.
We should have -- no I should have -- simply placed HOPE staff on the ground, immediately and at our own expense if need be. But we did as we were counseled, and on that point I am glad we paid our proper respect to leadership.
What breaks my heart are the countless thousands of poor and struggling low-wealth individuals and families, be they white, black or brown, who never had an opportunity to access the immense federal resources that were available to those impacted by the disaster; from enhanced FEMA support, to low-interest SBA loans for rebuilding, to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Furthermore, there was the that work I believe we could have done between survivors of disaster, along with the banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other private companies with which we have strong working relationships, and that had substantial investment in the state. Work such as that we completed successfully for more than 200,000 survivors of Hurricane Katrina.