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Mortgage Lender Helps USO Buy Care Packages

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2004 – One of the country's leading financial institutions has become a major supporter in the war on terror.

Countrywide Financial Corporation, which operates a family of lending companies, announced recently that a program it started this summer called "Countrywide Cares for Our Troops," has raised more than $150,000 to help the United Service Organizations supply care packages for servicemembers abroad.

The company's goal is to raise more than $200,000 by Labor Day. The money will help the USO fill some 8,000 care packages with prepaid calling cards, disposable cameras, toiletries, sunscreen and other items.

To meet their goal, Countrywide began the campaign with an initial $10,000 contribution to the USO. The company's employees hope to raise $100,000, with the company matching their contribution dollar-for-dollar.

In just one month, between June and July, company employees already had raised more than $70,000 toward their goal.

Stanford L. Kurland, Countrywide's president and chief operating officer, said his company launched the campaign to provide its more than 35,000 employees with an opportunity to show their appreciation for servicemembers serving overseas, adding that the company's employees "have a history of showing their concern for others."

"They have, once again, risen to the occasion by demonstrating their support for our men and women in uniform," he said. "I am extremely proud of our employees for their generous contributions to this campaign."

As a result of Countrywide's contributions, the company was named as one of the USO's top corporate sponsors for the Operation USO Care Package program.

Edward A. Powell, USO president and chief executive officer of USO world headquarters, said the USO was grateful to Countrywide and its employees for their overwhelming support of Operation USO Care Package, "and we are proud to name them as a 'top-level' corporate partner."

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