George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years


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MANILA, Philippines – A lot of kids around the world have sponsors for their education and other needs, thanks to nonprofit charity organizations such as Compassion International. But one Pinoy kid on the program was luckier than the others because he was actually being secretly sponsored by the 41st President of the United States of America!
George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years

George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years
Former US President George H.W. Bush | Photo credit: AL.com

In 2001, Former President George H.W. Bush learned about Compassion International’s child sponsorship program while watching a Christmas show featuring a Christian band.

“All of the sudden, Mr. Bush, who was sitting only a few rows back and surrounded by security, raised his hand and asked for a pamphlet,” revealed the charity organization’s former president, Wess Stafford.

George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years
Photo Credit: Compassion International via epa-efe

The security team was a bit alarmed because they had not screened the pamphlet whether the information was authentic but their concern didn’t stop the former president from committing to sponsoring a kid.

“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’,” said Stafford.

George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years
Photo Credit: Compassion International via epa-efe

But the concern was mainly focused on the child, a Pinoy kid named Timothy, who could be targeted if people knew he was in correspondence with a former US president. So, for the next 10 years, Bush’s identity was kept a secret and Stafford had to screen the correspondence between the two.

George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years
Photo Credit: Compassion International via epa-efe

“His letters were the most sweet, spirited letters I have read from any sponsor, but he kept giving hints as to who he could be. He was really pushing the envelope,” Stafford mused.

George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years
Photo Credit: Compassion International via epa-efe

Bush did give some hints about his identity, including sharing a photo of his famous dog, Sadie, but the child never guessed his real name.

Even when the former president talked about getting invited to the White House Christmas Party, the kid didn’t catch the hint.

George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years
Photo Credit: Compassion International via epa-efe
Through the years, Bush enjoyed writing to Timothy. And even though it was not allowed, he sent the kid some gifts from time to time, including a ‘World Time’ gadget. Upon learning that Timothy enjoys drawing and painting, he got him some art supplies.

George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years
Photo Credit: Compassion International via epa-efe
“After a while, my executive assistant, Angie Lathrop, took over the sponsorship, and after Timothy graduated at 17, she flew to the Philippines to meet him. That's when she told him who his sponsor really was,” Stafford shared.
George Bush secretly sponsored a Pinoy kid for 10 years
Photo Credit: Compassion International via epa-efe
Timothy was rather surprised to learn that he had spent the past 10 years writing and receiving letters from a former US President! The young man admitted that the revelation was life-changing. He was grateful for the chance to meet Bush, even if it was only through letters.

The organization has since lost touch of Timothy but believes he now lives a successful life.

Bush died at the age of 94 on November 30 this year.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express


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