HOUSTON, Tex. (KBTX) - Following the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush, News 3's Kathleen Witte sat down with her son Neil Bush.
The son of Barbara and 41st President George H.W. Bush lives in Houston and is the board chair of his father's non-profit, Points of Light.
Below is a portion of that conversation with Neil Bush on his parents' public service.
Kathleen Witte: Anybody you do speak with who has met your parents and knows them comments on how deeply human they are through every amazing part of their life--just deeply human.
Neil Bush: They really taught us to be humble. It's hard to talk about humility and public service in the same context with our current president, but I hearken back to the day when public servants were elected to try to help people. And my dad and mom inculcated that into their family DNA, their genes--the idea that service is an honor. It's something you're supposed to do when given the opportunity. Mom and Dad treat everyone with the same respect.
KW: On their legacy of service, and specifically your father's, when did you know that you wanted to take up this torch of Points of Light?
Bush: That's a good question. I joined the board in 1999... It's been a real blessing. I just love the work of Points of Light. Our job is to inspire and equip and mobilize and get more Americans to volunteer and to find that light that resides in them to help others. And there are so many. When Dad mentions Points of Light back in the campaigns in the late 80s and throughout his presidency, there were about 32 million Americans volunteering in one capacity or another. Today, there are 62 million Americans [volunteering]. So, it's almost doubled in those 40 years. College Station is a great example of thousands of points of light. Texas A&M has its big day--what is it called?
KW: Oh, the Big Event.
Bush: Yes, the Big Event, where 10,000-plus students get up there, it's 6:30 or 7:30 in the morning. They go do 10,000 projects or whatever. It's part of the culture of A&M, of being an Aggie--is giving back. The goal of Points of Light, to satisfy Dad's vision, is to have the culture of service be in inculcated into every family, every university, every corporation, every faith organization... We don't have to wait for the government to solve these problems. We have to have big-hearted, caring individuals rise up as part of an army to address the problems in our community. That's what Points of Light is trying to do.