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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 6, 2005

President Meets with Representatives from National Voluntary Organizations
Roosevelt Room

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Hurricane Relief

12:02 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I want to thank leaders of the -- in the faith -- faith-based and community-based community for being here. We've got people who represent thousands of volunteers who are in the midst of helping save lives.

You know, there's a debate here about refugees. Let me tell you my attitude and the attitude of people around this table: The people we're talking about are not refugees. They are Americans, and they need the help and love and compassion of our fellow citizens. And the people at this table are providing that help and compassion and love.

If you want to help, support the Red Cross or the Salvation Army or your church or the United Way. Houston, for example, is going to kick off a United Way campaign, and that money is going to help with the costs of the displaced persons inside of Houston. So please give cash money to organizations that are directly involved in helping save lives -- save the life who had been affected by Hurricane Katrina.

We have spent time talking about how we can make sure we continue progress, make sure people get -- not only continue to get the affection and love of people in the private sector, but also to make sure that the government gets people their Social Security checks, or their veteran's benefits checks, the checks that -- unemployment checks. And we'll do that, we'll do that.

Out of the darkness will come some light, and the light I saw yesterday at the program in Baton Rouge with T.D. Jakes was so apparent to me. And it's based upon the fact we've got citizens who are willing to take time to love somebody like they would like to be loved themselves, welcome a stranger in their midst. And for those of you who have done that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You're a part of the strength of this country. You're what makes America a great place.

In the meantime, we'll continue to work together to do our duty and to help our citizens who hurt, and help this great part of the country rebuild.

God bless.

END 12:05 P.M. EDT

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