On Wednesday, Sept 8, the Convoy of Hope station in Fort Pierce, Florida, received a surprise visit from President George Bush and his brother Governor Jeb Bush. The brothers worked alongside Convoy of Hope workers, distributing ice, water and groceries to the victims of Hurricane Frances.
"It shows me he cares about our community," said Sharon Swartzel, a hospital worker who said she was thrilled to shake the president's hand as he gave her a box full of 24 bottles of water, a bag of ice, Dunkin Donuts, an iced coffee and a grocery bag of cereal, beef jerky, chips and mustard.
In addition to the groceries and water, the President said encouraging words to help comfort the victims of Frances.
"How ya doin'?" the president would say, as he handed the supplies. "God bless."
Jamie Colby, a reporter for the Fox News Channel who was on-scene, explained, “"This has really been an incredible stop to show they are paying attention.”
David Moore, senior director of administration for Convoy of Hope said the president was “very friendly, very personable. He's got a lot of things on his mind. But you felt you were the only person he was talking to."
“I heard somebody call him George - that was his brother. Everyone else called him Mr. President,” said Moore, who spent several minutes talking with Bush.
After spending about 15 minutes delivering the food to the long line of cars, the President shook hands with Convoy of Hope volunteers and took pictures with them in front of the Convoy of Hope semi-truck.
The Convoy of Hope Senior Director of U.S. Operations, Randy Rich, said the relief group distributed some 17 truck loads of ice, water and groceries that day.
"That's about 680,000 pounds and we've served approximately 22,700 people," Rich said. "We're anticipating 20 to 30 more truck loads of supplies -- volunteers are still needed."
The Convoy of Hope is the relief extension of the Assemblies of God Church. The Convoy of Hope is among the many denominationally affiliated relief groups that have been on-scene at the wake of both Hurricane Charley and Frances, giving water, groceries, shelter, places to shower and prayers for the victims.
Those interested in volunteering to help Convoy of Hope should first contact COH at 417-823-8998. To help assist with financial costs, see the COH Web site at