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Banco Popular Commits To Make A Difference Day 2007

Participating Nationwide Six Years In A Row, Banco Popular Remains Actively

Engaged In Community Service

CHICAGO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Banco Popular North America (BPNA), one of the nation's premier community banks and a leading U.S. Small Business Administration Lender, today announced its nationwide participation in Make A Difference Day 2007. Banco Popular's employees - called DreamMakers -- have taken part of this special national day of helping others for six years in a row.

Saturday, October 27, 2007, is the 17th Make A Difference Day. The day is the largest community service effort in the nation, rallying corporations, government leaders, charitable organizations and everyday Americans into action on one day. Hundreds of employees from Banco Popular and its subsidiaries in California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York/New Jersey, and Texas are volunteering their time to many organizations and initiatives this year.

In Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Banco Popular's projects surpass 100. More than 3,000 employees in those regions will work in homes for troubled youth and the elderly, repairing and refurbishing schools, cleaning the environment and planting trees.

"Through our Foundation, we provide financial resources to organizations that make instrumental contributions to their communities. This day allows us to keep giving through our volunteer efforts and to see first hand, that we too can make a difference," said Roberto R. Herencia, President of Popular North America. "We have built a culture of giving for over 114 years and we strongly believe that the need to help others must be the guiding principle in all that we do."

In California, Banco Popular employees re-directed their efforts to address the immediate devastation the fires of Southern California have produced. All DreamMakers are contributing financially to The American Red Cross. Additionally, branches in the area will accept donations from customers and visitors for The American Red Cross.

E-Loan will send employees to the Northern California Family Center for two days of active volunteer work. The work will involve sorting donated clothes, landscaping, painting and general repair work to the Center over the course of two days. E-Loan will also request specific items to be donated by employees who do not volunteer their time.

DreamMakers in Central Florida will partner with The Central Florida Miracle League - Youth Baseball for Children with Disabilities. Each child is assigned a buddy (volunteer) during the game. Not only is it a support position, but it is an opportunity for the players and buddies to become friends. Volunteers are also supporting Habitat for Humanity- a non-profit organization dedicated to providing decent, affordable housing for families with low income by working on the "Banco Popular Home". Lastly, other team members will participate in the 5k Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walkathon.

In South Florida, Banco Popular is partnering with Habitat for Humanity as well as Children's Harbor, a home for foster children. Providing Halloween costumes, books, DVDs and music, team members will spend time to make this occasion special. Other DreamMakers will commit their time to Adopt A Stray, The Miami Children's Museum and Palmetto Care Center. Additionally, team members from Popular Association Group are spending their time at Hope Center, which provides emergency shelter, food, clothing, and support to those in need.

Illinois DreamMakers are working closely with many organizations dedicated to families, children, the homeless, people impacted by HIV/AIDS, senior citizens and educational training. Relationships have been forged with Healthcare Alternative Systems, Red Cross, Fire Stoppers, Northern Illinois Food Bank, New Mom's Inc., Hesed House, Casa Central, Wayside Cross Ministries, ASPIRE, YMCA, and Jennings Terrace. These organizations provide critical community services such as health improvement, food donations and disaster relief.

In St. Louis, Missouri, Popular Equipment Financing team members will collaborate with Rebuilding Together to renovate a home in the area. The repair list includes painting window frames, cleaning the concrete walls, repairing fascia, cleaning out gutters, and replacing some interior doors. Other DreamMakers will be volunteering for the USO and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, amongst others.

The New York and New Jersey team, continue dedicating themselves to community organizations that serve the elderly through Meals on Wheels as well as food and blood drives. This year, volunteers will partner with Food Bank of NYC to collect food and try to surpass last year's goal of 100 thousand pounds as well as provide support for Newark-based Goodwill Rescue Kitchen. They are also helping The New York Blood Center by driving awareness for blood donation and encouraging donors to visit a mobile bus at the South Street Seaport. Other team members are dedicating their time to refreshing the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, which is dedicated to Hispanic artists. For a fourth year in a row, volunteers will support Project Sunshine by creating craft kits for hospitalized children nationwide. Over 2,000 kits were created last year and select branches will remain open after business hours to allow team members to build them. Lastly, other volunteers will run a clothing drive for Dress For Success.

In Texas, volunteers will support Hermann Park Conservancy for their Adopt-A-Bed Project. This gardening and beautification projection will focus on the entrances of the Houston Zoo. Additionally, DreamMakers will support the ZOO BOO, an event focused on children and their enjoyment of the Zoo's offerings, animal education and other entertainment at the Houston Zoo. Others will dedicate their time to The Children's Museum and help with activities for visiting children.

About Banco Popular

Banco Popular North America, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is one of the leading community banks in the U.S. with more than 140 branches in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas. Its core businesses include retail and commercial banking services, mortgage and consumer lending, and investment services. Banco Popular ranks among the top four Small Business Administration lenders in the country. Banco Popular North America is a subsidiary of Popular, Inc. (Nasdaq: BPOP). For more information about Banco Popular North America, visit the company's Web site at

Contact: Juan Carlos Cruz

VP Public Relations and Media


SOURCE Banco Popular
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