Bush donates $10,000 of own money
From Dana Bash
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (CNN) -- President Bush personally contributed $10,000 toward tsunami disaster relief, the White House announced Wednesday.
Spokesman Scott McClellan declined to say to which organizations Bush donated the money, except that he chose groups listed in the USA Freedom Corps Web site.
McClellan said the checks were mailed Wednesday.
The death toll from the December 26 earthquake and tsunamis, which shattered tourist resorts and seaside communities from Thailand to East Africa, has topped 155,000.
The United States government has pledged $350 million for relief efforts and has indicated that more could be made available.
The U.S. military is also assisting relief efforts, and President Bush on Monday tapped two former presidents -- his father, George H.W. Bush, and his predecessor, Bill Clinton -- to drive private donations. (Full story)
The former presidents have been urging Americans to use the USA Freedom Corps Web site, which has links to some 75 aid and relief organizations.
New promises of aid money from the Australian and German governments helped push the relief worldwide total to more than $3 billion on Wednesday.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said his country will donate a billion Australian dollars (US$764.5 million) to a partnership with Indonesia for rehabilitation in the wake of the tsunami disaster. (Full story)
Earlier on Wednesday, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced the German government was increasing its pledge to 500 million euros (US$660 million). (Full story)
Norway's plan to pledge about $180 million, announced Monday, made its contribution approximately $39.50 per citizen.
Japan's pledge of $500 million comes out to $3.93 per person, and the U.S. government's pledge comes out to $1.19 per person.