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Bush personally gives $10K in tsunami aid
Updated: 2005-01-06 09:05

US President Bush, who has pledged $350 million in U.S. aid to help victims of Asian countries ravaged by the tsunami, has contributed $10,000 from his personal funds to the relief effort, his spokesman said Wednesday.

In a speech on legal issues in Collinsville, Ill., Bush praised the U.S. military for its "heroic work" in assisting tsunami victims and urged Americans to continue to open their wallets.

"The most important contribution a person can make is cash," Bush said. "There's huge generosity here in America."

Scott McClellan, White House press secretary, told reporters traveling with Bush to Illinois that the president himself a multimillionaire has written checks to several organizations listed on a Web site set up to direct Americans to various reputable charities collecting private contributions for tsunami relief. McClellan would not identify the organizations to which Bush contributed.

Bush has been criticized for not acting quickly enough to provide U.S. funds and other federal assistance to countries hit by the catastrophic Dec. 26 tsunami that killed nearly 150,000 people and devastated Indian ocean communities across southern Asia.

Earlier this week Bush announced that his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and former President Clinton would spearhead a nationwide drive for private donations for the tsunami relief effort.

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