President Bush wrote me on official White House letterhead.
Congratulations on receiving the President's Volunteer Service Award from the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. Through service to others, you demonstrate the outstanding character of America and help strengthen our country.
In January 2002, I called on all Americans to dedicate at least two years- or 4,000 hours- over the course of their lives to serve others at home or abroad. I congratulate you and all Americans who have answered this call and have earned a bronze Award from the President's Council. Americans of all ages can serve others in countless ways, such as mentoring a child, caring for an elderly neighbor, teaching someone to read, cleaning parks, and creating safer neighborhoods.
My Administration encourages every American to help their communities and our country. Through the USA Freedom Corps and the President's Council, we are building a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in American that will last for decades to come. Americans continue to serve and are part of the changing America, one heart and one soul at a time. Your actions are part of this change. I urge you to continue serving your neighbors and earn a Silver or Gold Award. I also hope that you will ask your friends, family, and colleagues to join you in serving your community and our Nation.
May God bless you, and my God continue to bless America.
There are several things to note about this letter.
First, it reeks. Bush is taking credit for my volunteer work, because I "answered this call". He is so unbelievably full of himself. I have volunteered all of my adult life, as do most folks I know. C'mon Prez, we do it because we were caring, compassionate people before you became King. Really. We aren't motivated by a tiny, stinking, metal pin. Really.
Second, had I known that my hours were being tallied by the White House, I wouldn't have signed "in", which I only did about half the time, when I volunteered at my son's school.
Third, WTH? How much money is being wasted on this program? Do they really think they are motivating folks who weren't already volunteering, or do they just want to take credit for it? Never mind, I know the answer. I think our money could be better spent elsewhere.
Fourth, Bush sounds a bit like a feminist, or at least politically correct, in not attaching a gender to God. It would really be p.c. if he said "God bless the people of every nation." Really.