President Bush announced emergency monetary aid for displaced hurricane victims on Thursday while also calling for a National Day of Prayer, reminding the nation that it must come together to stay strong for the time of recovery ahead.
At a press conference held in Washington, D.C., the president said that the government would make it easy for every displaced household to receive $2,000 for immediate needs such as food and clothing, part of a larger $51.8 billion aid package he signed into law later in the day. For trying times of recovery, he also called for National Day of Prayer on Friday, Sept. 16.
"I ask that we pray - as Americans have always prayed in times of trial - with confidence in His purpose, with hope for a brighter future, and with the humility to ask God to keep us strong so we can better serve our brothers and sisters in need," he said.
The call for a day of prayer follows recent visits by the president to impacted Gulf Coast states where he met with victims and commended faith based groups for their relief work as part of a wider effort by Americans.
As government and private relief agencies continue to work at the local and national level, Christian groups have also been active in ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the victims.
Efforts to provide aid by the Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, in addition to thousands of other churches and ministries around the nation in the immediate aftermath of the Hurricane have already helped to feed hundreds of thousands of people.