President Barack Obama Joins Former President George H.W. Bush to Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the “Points of Light” Volunteer Legacy and Extend the Call of Service to the Nation

Points of Light Institute’s Presidential Forum will Recognize Millions of Americans Who Answer the Call to Serve and Asks Millions More to Join Them

ATLANTA (Sep. 11, 2009) – On Friday, Oct. 16, 2009, President Barack Obama will join former President George H. W. Bush to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the vision of a thousand “Points of Light,” which catalyzed the modern volunteer service movement by hosting a presidential forum on community service at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University. The event will honor the enormous advances of the service movement that started 20 years ago under the leadership of President George H.W. Bush and that has been sustained and grown through the leadership of Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. President Obama has dramatically expanded this movement with his leadership of the bi-partisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The event will also celebrate the contributions of more than 4,500 Daily Point of Light Award winners.

“This is a significant moment in history as these two leaders come together to celebrate their shared vision of service and volunteerism in America,” said Michelle Nunn, chief executive officer, Points of Light Institute. “In 1989, President Bush called the nation to service with the signing of the National and Community Service Act of 1990, the first piece of federal national service legislation that sparked a movement of service, leading to the creation of what is now Points of Light Institute. This call was rooted in our nation’s greatest tradition -- the compassionate and innovative power of citizen action. President Obama has lifted up this call to the nation and has said that he wants to make it a central cause of his Presidency.”

The Library event will bring together national and local civic leaders, Daily Point of Light Award winners, HandsOn Network affiliates, young people and corporate and philanthropic leaders. The Presidential Forum on Service will build upon President Obama's "United We Serve" call to service challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth in this country by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service. The forum is designed to engage the nation in dialogue about the role of service in our communities and in sharing innovative ideas about service as a solution to some of our most pressing issues.

“Dating back to our nation’s inception, and even before, the uniquely American neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit has sustained us, and strengthened us, through times of peace and prosperity, as well as crisis and challenge,” said President Bush. “I salute President Obama both for his leadership in renewing this call to community service and for his vision for engaging the next generation of Americans in volunteerism. Together with the Points of Light Institute, Barbara and I look forward to welcoming our President to the Bush Library in October.”

The October event marks one of a series of events honoring the 20 years of service achievements stemming from President George H.W. Bush’s 1989 inaugural address and the creation of Points of Light Institute. For more information, please visit

About Points of Light Institute
Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. The Institute has a global focus to redefine volunteerism and civic engagement for the 21st century, putting people at the center of community problem solving. We operate three dynamic business units that share our mission: HandsOn Network, MissionFish and the Civic Incubator. We are organized to help people act upon their power to make a difference.

About Daily of Point of Light Awards
The Daily Point of Light Award, created by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, honors individuals and volunteer groups around the country who are helping to meet critical needs in their communities and creating change every day and has a bi-partisan presidential legacy over the past two decades. Points of Light Institute selects the awardees through a nominations process that is open to the general public.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jennifer Geckler
Points of Light Institute
Vice President, Communications and Events