Bush Encourages Spirit of Volunteerism

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President Bush is continuing his call for all Americans to devote at least two years worth of their life to giving back to the community.

"You'll become a better person for it. And our society will be more healthy as a result of it," he said.

In a speech Monday, Bush played up the spirit of volunteerism and the importance of love in every American's heart -- two ideas he first spoke about after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

"There's always a need. You should be volunteering not because of 9/11, but you should be volunteering because our country needs you on a regular basis," he said. "We could use your help."

Bush also acknowleged recent efforts by the Red Cross and its struggle to provide aid to storm victims on the Gulf Coast.

"Charitable contributions have not kept pace with their expenses," Bush explained.

He is now urging more contributions to the Red Cross and other volunteer groups, as Hurricane Ike and other storms continue to develop.

The President was speaking at a ceremony he hosted, Monday, at the White House. The event highlighted the USA Freedom Corps, which he created in 2002, and other volunteer efforts. More than 1,800 volunteers attended the event.

Since 2002, the Bush administration has surveyed community volunteerism through annual U.S. Census Bureau reports.

According to their findings, nearly 61 million Americans take the time to volunteer, a 1 million increase since the surveys began.

Sources: CBN News, ABC News

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