The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 13, 2007

President Bush Visits YMCA, Thanks Volunteers
YMCA Anthony Bowen
Washington, D.C.

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3:03 P.M.

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks. The reason I'm here is that we're heralding volunteerism in America. No better place to come where volunteers are doing their work. One of the most important things we can do in our society is to mentor, is to serve as examples and to share knowledge with people so that everybody has a chance to realize the potential of the country. We've got mentors here, people who could be doing something other than being here today, but have chosen to mentor a child.

And so I personally want to thank you very much. And I encourage people to volunteer. One of the great things about our country is that there are millions of people around our nation who take it upon themselves to help improve the community in which they live by lending their talents and their time to mentor a child or teach somebody to read or feed the hungry or provide shelter for the homeless.

My job as the President is to rally the armies of compassion and to herald those examples where people are selflessly helping out others, such as here at this YMCA, right here in Washington, D.C., and to call upon our fellow citizens to recognize that by helping somebody else, you really help yourself in many ways. You strengthen your spirit, and you strengthen your soul.

So thank you all for having me. I'm thrilled to be here with the mentors and the mentorees. Volunteerism is an -- has been an integral part of our country, and is today, and it needs to be in the future.

Thank you.

END 3:05 P.M. EST

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