Bush urges U.S. children to aid Afghan children
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush is calling on the children of America to help the children of Afghanistan, by contributing a dollar to a fund that will provide them with food and medicine.
A senior administration official told reporters the idea stemmed from meetings with his aides in the Oval Office earlier in the week, and from the campaign that created the March of Dimes in the 1930s.
Karen Hughes, the president's counselor, said Bush discussed with his aides how Americans want to help, and also how he believes one of the "best weapons" against terrorism is to "show the world the compassion of America."
The president's aides then got the idea from the March of Dimes, an organization that works to prevent birth defects.
Hughes said the March of Dimes grew out of an initiative put forward in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who appealed to American children to send a dime to the White House to help eradicate polio.
And so, the idea of having the children of America send a dollar to the White House to help the children of Afghanistan was born.
A senior administration official said every effort is being made to keep administrative costs to a minimum. All funds sent to the White House will be forwarded directly to the American Red Cross, which will administer the aid to the children of Afghanistan.
Children can send their dollars to America's Fund for Afghan Children, c/o The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 20509-1600.
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