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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 10:24 am | Fair 58º


18 Years Later, Recipient of Points of Light Award Shines On

Santa Barbara-based Adventures in Caring Foundation has been among hundreds recognized by the program founded by President H.W. Bush

President H. W. Bush is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his 1,000 Points of Light award program, and for Santa Barbara-based Adventures in Caring Foundation its light shines even more brightly than when it received Point of Light No. 407 in March 1991.

“When my assistant told me that the White House was on the phone, I thought she was pulling my leg,” said Simon Fox, executive director of Adventures in Caring. “At the time I was not aware of the Points of Light award, so I had no idea why they were calling. Needless to say, we were thrilled that they found us and recognized the efforts of the Raggedy volunteers.”

The first organization in the Tri-Counties to receive a Point of Light, the Adventures in Caring Foundation, then known as the Love Yourself Foundation, received the award for outstanding community service by the Raggedy Ann & Andy volunteers, who befriend the sick, injured and dying, so they do not face their darkest hours alone.

Eighteen years later, the Raggedy program is still going strong with more than 1 million heart-to-heart visits made by more than 1,000 volunteers in the program’s 25-year history. In addition, Adventures in Caring has produced four educational DVDs that teach the practice of compassion to thousands of volunteer caregivers and health care professionals throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.

From 1989 to 1993, President Bush distributed 1,020 Daily Point of Light Awards during his presidency, placing volunteer service at the top of its agenda. He continues to sign all of the awards today. Individuals, families, youth groups, friends, grandparents, businesses, nonprofit agencies and religious congregations have all been named Points of Light. They hail from 45 of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, and extend internationally.

— Jennifer Goddard is a publicist.

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