Former First Lady Barbara Bush “vowed to make a difference every single day,” as granddaughter and TODAY show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager told viewers this morning. Here at Points of Light, we see the difference Mrs. Bush continues to make, inspiring others every day. And in honor of her 90th birthday, we’d like to celebrate her commitment to literacy by recognizing three Daily Point of Light award winners who – in their own powerful ways – are taking action to spread the joy of reading.
Across the country and the world, companies are putting their unique business muscle to work for the greater good. These pro bono volunteers – top-notch professionals in technology, public health, systems engineering, logistics, manufacturing and more – are using their industry-leading skills and relevant issue expertise to help nonprofits change lives.
The year was 1974. Hank Aaron had just broken Babe Ruth's home run record and UPC codes were introduced as a major new technological innovation. America was in an energy crisis, and in the midst of the Watergate scandal. And on April 20, 1974, President Richard Nixon introduced the first National Volunteer Week with the words above, in an address to the nation. Seventeen years later, President George H. W. Bush ushered in what many have long recognized as the birth of the U.S. service movement, when he shared the following words, also in a presidential address.
I'll never forget my first Hands On Atlanta volunteer project nearly 20 years ago. I remember a spilled vat of applesauce and getting lost more than once. I remember how uncomfortable it felt, at first, to join a group of strangers and to work together to prepare and deliver meals to people living with AIDS. And I remember how good it felt to be able to do something that mattered in just a few hours.