President George W. Bush visited Florida for the fifth time this month to survey the damages from the slew of hurricanes, comfort and encourage the victims, and to express his appreciation for the thousands of Christian and humanitarian relief volunteers on-scene.
“Despite week after week of strain, faith-based groups, like Southern Baptists and the Salvation Army, are setting up kitchens to feed the hungry,” said Bush, during his visit to Lake Wales in Sept. 29. “The Salvation Army, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Convoy of Hope from Springfield, Mo., and other faith-based groups have set up kitchens and helped feed the hungry.”
Bush’s comments were made during his two-day visit to a citrus farm in Lake Wales that was hit by three of the four hurricanes since August 13. The 400-acre farm took blasts from Hurricane Charley, Frances and Jeanne, leaving much of its foliage blackened and decayed.
Upon finishing his tour, Bush noted, “Our nation is praying for the victims of these storms. We pray for all who come to their aid.”
“Across the state, people are showing great compassion and helping their neighbors make it through these storms,” Bush said. “And I thank them for their care and their decency.”
Since Hurricane Charley wreaked havoc on the state, thousands of Christian volunteers went on-scene, providing food, water, shower, shelter, medical supplies and blankets. At the wake of Hurricane Frances, the second hurricane to have hit the peninsular state this season, Bush visited a relief center run by the staff of Convoy of Hope – a relief group organized by the Assemblies of God Church. During that visit, he applauded the volunteers and gave hugs to the victims.
At this visit, Bush offered encouraging words to the victims of Florida, lauding them for meeting the “historic challenges with extraordinary strength and generosity.”
At that end, Bush said he is urging Congress to provide $12.2 billion to respond to Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, and asked officials to make sure the resources reach the people who need it most.