1 Year After George H. W.’s Death, How the Bush Family Is Asking Others to Give Back

The family of George H. W. Bush is paying tribute to his altruism — and the organization that carries on that giving spirit still — on the one-year anniversary of his death.

The former 41st president died on Nov. 30, 2018, at the age of 94, just seven months after wife Barbara Bush died.

To honor President Bush’s “unrelenting service to others,” his daughter Dorothy Bush Koch, 60, and son Neil Bush, 64, are urging others to be a “point of light” in their own communities, just like their father had been.

The phrase was a signature of his administration, along with the thousand-plus commendations the president gave to individuals and organizations, and that work inspired the same-named foundation which Neil now chairs.

The elder Bush “left behind a legacy of unrelenting service to others, founded on the belief that people are the driving force for transformation in the world,” Neil and Koch shared in a statement to PEOPLE. “As we reach the first anniversary of his passing, we find ourselves in a time marked by divisiveness and partisanship, but also one full of hope.”

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“Dad loved to honor those people who were catalysts in their communities, who inspired hope in others by defeating apathy with empathy,” they said. “It is through selfless actions, often in insurmountable situations, when we are most reminded of the strength of character and leadership which our father exhibited, but also admired.”

Koch and Neil continued: “In his honor, we ask and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to think of how they can be a point of light and inspiration in their own community and help transform the world into one in which no one sits on the sidelines.”

RELATED: George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, Dies at 94

One of President Bush’s many acts of service included the creation of the daily Points of the Light award, which gave rise to the Points of Light Foundation in 1990. The family still has close ties to the group: Granddaughter Lauren Bush Lauren works there alongside Neil.

Speaking with PEOPLE in September, they said they hoped the foundation would continue to promote some of the qualities President bush cherished most: selflessness and service.

“I think Points of Light as an organization speaks volumes about him and he was always paying attention to the small guy,” said Lauren, 35, who was an awards co-chair at the first-ever George H. W. Bush Points of Light Awards Gala on Sept. 26.

“I hope what people take away from is that it’s about him, but it’s also about the three people we’re honoring. I picture him sitting there saying, ‘Don’t make this just about me.’ “

“My dad has famously stated that you don’t have to be president, you don’t have to be governor or first lady to make a difference in the lives of others,” Neil said …read more

Source:: People


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