Bush honors Yuma volunteer

Salvation Army volunteer receives presidential recognition.

by Jonathan Harvey – 

Amidst the sprawling desert in Yuma County, Ariz., President George W. Bush recently honored Michael Christopher, an outstanding Salvation Army volunteer, with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

With Air Force One shadowing the runway of Yuma International Airport, Bush presented Christopher with the service award recognizing his efforts and spent time briefly talking with Christopher about his volunteer work.

Christopher serves as The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club’s volunteer athletic director in Yuma and assistant in after-school programs and summer camps. As a volunteer for the past 12 years, he has spent more than 5,000 hours working with at-risk youth.

The Salvation Army and the Yuma Boys and Girls Club serve together as one organization to meet the needs of Yuma County’s youth. The two existing clubs, in Yuma and Somerton, together serve more than 55,000
children each year.
“I like working with kids, showing them the world isn’t all bad, just letting them be kids,” Christopher said in an interview with local news media that extensively covered the story. “I love watching them grow up, mature, and develop as good people.”

Edith Benavides, program director for the Boys and Girls Club said, “Michael really is a rare volunteer. He’s an extraordinary person, but he’s very humble.”

President Bush has given awards to more than 575 volunteers around the country since March 2002, having created the award after a State of the Union Address in which he called on all Americans to make a difference in their communities through service.

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