Even in his death, President George H.W. Bush continues to be an influential advocate for child sponsorship. In the wake of President Bush’s passing, former Compassion International president, Wess Stafford, revealed a heart-warming secret which rocked the country: President Bush was a Compassion sponsor.

Using a pseudonym, the former United States president sponsored a 7-year old Filipino boy named Timothy. Through letters and pictures, which began in 2002, President Bush tested the boundaries of his pseudonym and showed Timothy true love and kindness which still reflects in Timothy’s life today.

Timothy, who is now 25 years old, shares his extreme gratitude for President Bush and the Compassion Child Sponsorship program. He writes:

“I will forever be grateful that I have been a part of Compassion’s program. Having President Bush as a sponsor was a huge bonus. Wow, I still can’t believe it. Imagine, of the millions of children Compassion sponsors, I was chosen by the president of America to be his sponsored child from many miles away.”

Back in 2002, President George H.W. Bush attended a Compassion concert and raised his hand (surrounded by security personnel) when the audience was asked if they wanted to receive a child packet. Former Compassion president Wess Stafford shares: “His packet contained info on a little Filipino boy. I agreed with them that this must be kept a secret. For his own security, this little boy must not know that his sponsor was the President of the United States!”

 Timothy at age 25 smiling
Timothy at age 25

Wess agreed to censor the letters between Timothy, a poverty-stricken child, and the most powerful man in the world. Initially, President Bush abided by the security guidelines, writing sweet letters and encouraging him to do his best. He praised the boy’s hand-drawn pictures and progress in school. Timothy shares his perspective:

“I remember receiving so many encouraging letters from him, a calculator, and colored pencils and markers. I was eight years old then and really loved drawing pictures. I sent some of my drawings to him and realize now that I was sending my drawings to the White House! Now I feel embarrassed because my drawings were not good.”

Eventually, Bush’s sense of humor broke through, and he began to cleverly “break the rules.” It began with a picture of his dog: “This is my dog Millie…she knows many famous people!” Later, he wrote another encrypted message: “This year for Christmas we are going to celebrate with my son at his house…he lives in a big White House!”

A letter from President George H.W. Bush with a photograph of Timothy.
A letter from President George H.W. Bush with a photograph of Timothy
A letter from President George H.W. Bush with a photograph of his dog Sadie.
A letter from President George H.W. Bush with a photograph of his dog Sadie.

Timothy was raised by a single mother who provided for her children by washing clothes. He shares that they “were so poor that my mother could not buy school supplies and other things for us…sometimes, not even food. These are the things that Compassion provided.” Through his sponsorship with Compassion, Timothy was provided with the opportunity to become a healthy, happy, well-educated and God-loving child.

After graduating from the Compassion program at age 17, Timothy finally learned who his sponsor was. As a stunning revelation, he shares it changed his life.

“I will forever be grateful. I am now the father of a three-year-old girl, and will do my best to be a great father to her, provide for her, and lead her to the ways of the Lord. From being a former beneficiary, I was molded in the right path and in the ways of God.

To the late and former president of the United States of America, Mr. George Bush. Thank you very much for being my sponsor.”

When you sponsor a child, you’ll be personally connected with a boy or girl like Timothy who will know your name and treasure the thought that you care. Your support of $38 per month provides life-changing opportunities like the opportunity to attend school, receive medical care and nourishing food, and most importantly, opportunities to hear the gospel.

Will you follow in the footsteps of our nation’s leader and make a difference in the life of a child in poverty? Allow God to work through you – sponsor a child today!

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Your tax-deductible contribution of just $38 a month connects a child living in poverty with a loving, church-based Child Sponsorship Program.

Your support provides:

  • Medical checkups, which often save lives
  • Nutritious food
  • Health and hygiene training
  • Educational assistance
  • Access to special services like surgeries and disaster relief
  • Mentoring to help children discover their incredible value as God’s children
  • Most important of all, your sponsored child will hear about Jesus Christ and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God. Just imagine how exciting it will be when one day you get to heaven and your sponsored child is there with you because you chose to sponsor him or her.

When you sponsor a child, you'll receive your child's photo, personal story and a child sponsorship packet by mail in approximately 10 days.

When children find out they've been sponsored, the joy they feel is indescribable. Just knowing that someone across the globe cares means more than you can imagine. Sponsoring a child in need will profoundly change the future for your child, and will change your own life as well.


Please call us at (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT to speak with a Compassion Representative.

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