Being the 41st President of the United States of America, George H.W. Bush was certainly a man of power and money. And he used part of that money for good purpose, including secretly sponsoring a kid in the Philippines!
It all started in 2001 when the president was attending a Christmas concert in Washington.
“Because the musicians were mostly Christian, they believed in our mission,” explained Wess Stafford, the former president of Compassion International.
“During intermission, they would tell the audience about us, and ask them if they would like to sponsor a child.”
Compassion International is a non-profit organization that connected sponsors with local churches helping poor kids in communities around the world.
During the concert, when the musicians shared about the project,Bush raised his hand and asked for a pamphlet. This alarmed his security team as they had no idea what was actually on the pamphlet. They were unable to stop Bush from taking the pamphlet and later signing up for sponsorship. He picked Timothy, a kid from the Philippines.
“His top security called me and said ‘this doesn’t surprise me coming from him, but if he’s going to sponsor this kid, we need to make sure the boy doesn’t know who his sponsor is.’ So, he signed all his letters to Timothy as ‘George Walker’,” Stafford revealed.
Stafford had to screen the correspondence between the two. Because he was corresponding with a former US president, this puts Timothy in a difficult position if people knew what was going on.
Stafford could only shake his head many times when Bush would seemingly give hints to Timothy about who he was, including sharing a photo of his dog Sadie and telling the kid that the dog had met a lot of ‘famous people’.
Once, he also shared that he got invited to the White House for a Christmas Party! But the kid never caught on, possibly not knowing that only VIPs were ever invited to White House Christmas parties.
The former president was also generous to Timothy. Aside from sponsoring his education, some meals, and extra-curricular activities, he would also send presents from time to time. This was not allowed but the NGO relented and allowed Bush to send the items to Timothy.
It was only after Timothy had graduated that he was told the real identity of Mr. and Mrs. Walker. He was stunned but thankful for the opportunity.