Our nation lost a World War II veteran, a consummate statesman and a kind leader on Nov. 30, when former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, 94, died of natural causes at his home in Texas.
Bush became known as a gentleman and a proponent for civility and bipartisan leadership in the years after his single term in office, sandwiched between Ronald Reagan’s second term and Bill Clinton’s first term. He leaves a multi-faceted legacy, not the least of which is the nonprofit organization, the Points of Light Foundation, which is urging people this week to honor his legacy by pledging time to volunteer and becoming a point of light in their own communities.
In his 1989 inaugural address, President Bush called on our country to give through service. “We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light … we all have something to give,” President Bush said.
In response to President Bush’s call to action, the Points of Light Foundation was created as an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization to encourage and empower the spirit of service, according to its website.
We echo that call to service and repeat it to our readers. Find the time this week, this month, the next 12 months to volunteer and help make our community a better place to live. Choteau, Fairfield, Dutton, Power, Bynum and Pendroy all have opportunities for volunteerism, whether it’s with a local church or school, a civic organization or a civic-minded business.
Honor this U.S. veteran and leader’s belief that we as everyday citizens can reach out and bring light into the dark places, blazing the way toward better communities and that we can do this altruistically with no expectation of enriching ourselves but only with the goal of helping others. So pick up the phone. Call your church or your school. Call the senior citizens center and help with Meals on Wheels, help the Teton County Food Pantry deliver Christmas food parcels, take a Caring Tree, or Angel Tree or Rudolph’s Run gift tag and fulfill it. Volunteer at Bright Eyes Animal Shelter or help out with Reading Buddies. Go up to Benefis Teton Medical Center and volunteer to help in the long-term care wing. Volunteer at the library or with the 4-H or Scouting programs. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Be a point of light and celebrate all those points of light in our rural communities who are already giving all the time. Let’s celebrate what’s good and right in our lives and pledge to help those in need.