Monday, September 12, 2005

President Bush Visits American Red Cross Disaster Operations Center


Monday, September 05, 2005 — President George W. Bush made an impromptu visit the American Red Cross national headquarters yesterday to address the staff and volunteers supporting Hurricane Katrina disaster relief operations from the organization’s busy national Disaster Operations Center in Washington.
President Bush, with First Lady Laura Bush, visited the American Red Cross Disaster Operation Center in Washington to view the Katrina relief activity and to thank Red Cross staff and volunteers, Sept. 4, 2005. (Photo Credit: Hector Emanuel/American Red Cross)
"I've come to the Red Cross to, one, thank the good folks here who are working here. We've got people from around the country who have come to help heal the lives of those who have been affected by this terrible disaster," the President said. “I can't think of anything more encouraging for someone who has endured the tragedy of a storm than to have a loving soul say, 'I'm here to help you.'"
In his comments to the media pool while touring the operation center, Bush stressed the importance of donating money, time and blood to the American Red Cross, which is engaged in the largest response to a natural disaster in the organization’s 125-year history.
"I just passed the place where volunteers and staffers are taking calls from around the country, and the response has been good, but there's more that needs to be done." he said. "Remember, it's the Red Cross that provides much of the first compassion that a person finds…it's the Red Cross that helps feed. And so the Red Cross needs money."
Financial support of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund enables the organization to provide urgently needed relief supplies such as food, water, shelter, clothing and medications to those impacted by disaster. But, the heart of the Red Cross is its volunteers. In fact, more than 5,000 Red Crossers – many of them volunteers – have left their own homes and families to serve in affected areas. Given of the scope of this particular disaster, even with its large pool of volunteers across the country, the Red Cross pool of volunteers will need many more will be needed in the weeks and even months to come.
"People – this is a storm of enormous magnitude. And so we need more manpower," said President Bush. "And if you want to help, please call the Red Cross, and your local Red Cross and they'll find a way for you to help."
Another easy way for people to get involved is for them to contact their local blood center to schedule an appointment to donate blood in the weeks ahead and by becoming a regular blood donor. The need for blood is an ongoing one – blood supplies need to be replenished constantly.
The president concluded his visit by extending his gratitude to and expressing his confidence in the Red Cross and its President and CEO, Marty Evans.

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