Laura Bush thanks The Salvation Army

National Advisory Organizations Conference 2007

First Lady recognizes Army for work in U.S. and throughout world.

First Lady Laura Bush speaks at NAOC.

At the NAOC, First Lady Laura Bush acknowledged The Salvation Army for helping “carry out many of the President’s initiatives to serve the needy—across the United States, and in countries around the world.” She encouraged delegates “to build on this proud tradition of service,” and through the conference, “to strengthen the ties within The Salvation Army…to strengthen the Army’s ties to the communities you serve. At this conference,” she declared, “and in the acts of kindness you perform every day, you’re advancing The Salvation Army’s mission to ‘Do the Most Good.’”

Mrs. Bush commented specifically on several Army relief efforts, both national and international. In the U.S., after Hurricane Katrina, the Army was literally a “shelter in the storm,” she said. She recognized the Army representatives—including Captain Zach Bell, present at the conference—for their efforts after the disaster. The Salvation Army helped families recover, move forward, and rebuild their lives.

Worldwide, she noted, “The Salvation Army is working to stop the scourge of human trafficking…[and] is standing against religious persecution. “And,” she continued, “you raised millions of dollars for the victims of the Southeast Asia tsunami.”

In Africa, The Salvation Army (with USAID) is implementing a program in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to help women. She explained: “The WORTH program helps women in African villages start private banks, which lend and receive micro-credit. Women use these resources to launch their own small business, stimulating local economies and providing these women with help for themselves and their families.” With this newfound capacity, she continued, “women address the other challenges facing their communities—like the lack of education, and the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

Helping young people everywhere is important to Laura Bush. Since President Bush announced the Helping America’s Youth Initiative in 2005, Mrs. Bush has led it—traveling throughout the U.S., visiting youth and those who work with them. She acknowledged the Army for their “interest in the lives of young people, showing them that adults care for them, respect them, and believe in them.”

She urged delegates to use a resource introduced at the White House Conference on Helping America’s Youth—the interactive Community Guide, which gives community-specific information on problems and resources (

In closing, she stated: “Throughout the United States, members of The Salvation Army are helping their neighbors change their lives. Thanks to each and every one of you for serving your communities and our country. Thank you for building on The Salvation Army’s success through this conference, and thank you for showing the compassionate character of America to the world.”

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