President Bush on Tuesday praised faith-based and private charitable organizations and urged Americans to continue giving generously for the victims of Hurricane Katrina by assisting those groups.
We've got people who represent thousands of volunteers who are in the midst of helping save lives, Bush said. If you want to help, support the Red Cross or the Salvation Army or your church or the United Way.
Bushs meeting came a day after his Labor Day visit to the disaster region and nearly a week after the Hurricane left tens of thousands stranded in flooded streets.
In a separate meeting with Cabinet members also on Tuesday, Bush acknowledged that the initial federal response was unacceptable and said he will ask Congress for more money for Katrina relief than the $10.5 billion in emergency funds already appropriated by Congress last week.
In the meantime, he urged charitable groups to continue their good works and Americans to continue giving money to support the private sector.
"Please give cash money to organizations that are directly involved in helping save lives -- save the life who had been affected by Hurricane Katrina, Bush said at the meeting. Well continue to work together to do our duty and to help our citizens who hurt, and help this great part of the country rebuild.
Heather L. Feltman, director for Lutheran Disaster Response, who was at the meeting, said she felt the president understands the long-term needs of those needing assistance.
"President Bush said he is aware of the catastrophic nature of this disaster, and he has pledged to be a part of recovery efforts for the long-term," said Feltman to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Americas news service.
She added that her group will be here to rally Lutherans to assist in these efforts, and that all aspects of the Lutheran Church will be available to support in the response.
All of us serving together are Lutheran Disaster Response," she said.
Other Christian groups represented at the meeting included the Southern Baptist Convention, Catholic Charities, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, YMCA and the Salvation Army.