My heart dropped when I received a message from the Bush Family that Former President George H. W. Bush had passed away. But I quickly remembered how much he loved his wife, Barbara, and how they were now reunited in Heaven. I first met President Bush in 1990. I was invited to meet him when Air Force One touched down in Los Angeles.
President Bush had chosen Orange County Rescue Mission, and my role within it, to receive the 211th Presidential Point of Light. What made this incredible distinction even more unique was that it was the first time a faith-based organization had ever been awarded a Presidential Point of Light. In order to receive this award, White House staff had spent three months carefully vetting the Rescue Mission and its operations. That Presidential recognition opened many doors and opportunities to the Rescue Mission which allowed it to grow from one small facility in Santa Ana to the now fourteen campuses we have today.
Soon after this recognition, I was invited to spend the weekend at Epcot and Disney World with the President and the First Lady, and I was hosted by Walt Disney Company CEO, Michael Eisner. During that time I learned firsthand what examples of incredible leadership the President and First Lady were to our nation and to me personally.
I will be forever grateful to both of them and the legacy that they have left. Please join me in giving thanks for the lives of Former President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara and for their faithful service to this country.