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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 4, 2005
President Visits Disaster Operations Center of the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross
10:43 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: 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.
I told some folks back there that the world saw this tidal wave of disaster ascend upon the Gulf Coast, and now they're going to see a tidal wave of compassion. There's over 5,000 Red Cross -- or nearly 5,000 Red Cross volunteers that are working long hours at shelters in 19 states to help these folks that have been displaced get their feet back on the ground.
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. And I want -- I want you to know a lot of people care for you. And that's -- that's the spirit of the Red Cross and it's volunteers.
If you want to help -- help this country heal after the result of this disaster, please give cash money to the Red Cross. 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. Remember, it's the Red Cross that provides much of the first compassion that a person finds; it's the Red Cross that helps provide cash money for somebody to help them transition from being disrupted -- having their lives disrupted to a more normal life. It's the Red Cross that helps feed. And so the Red Cross needs money.
The Red Cross can use volunteers. People -- this is a storm of enormous magnitude. A lot of people's lives have been affected. I know much of the country is focused on New Orleans, Louisiana, but parishes outside of New Orleans have been ruined. Up and down the coast of Mississippi, communities have been destroyed. And so we need more manpower. 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.
And finally, the Red Cross is in need of blood, and there's a blood drive going on. As a matter of fact, the White House will be having a blood drive on Friday. And I will be encouraging the employees there to donate blood. And I hope others will do so, as well.
This country is coming together to help people who hurt. And one of the leaders of the army of compassion is the Red Cross. And I'm grateful for your leadership, Marty. I want to thank all the good folks here who have -- who really show the world the great compassion of our country. Thanks for letting me come by to say hello.
END 10:46 A.M. EDT