George H.W. Bush Secretly Sponsored a Filipino Child for 10 Years

The 41st President used a pseudonym to correspond with the child.

Bush letters
Former President George Bush secretly aided a Filipino child for a decade. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Getty Images

President George H.W. Bush exchanged letters with a 7-year-old Filipino child who he sponsored for 10 years through the international nonprofit charity,  Compassion International.

The late former president used a pseudonym while corresponding with the boy, named Timothy, according to CNN, and sent him funds that helped send him to school, supported his extracurricular ambitions and helped keep him fed.

The letters, shared with CNN by the organization, were confirmed as authentic by Jim McGrath, a spokesperson for the Office of George H. W. Bush.

“Dear Timothy,” Bush’s first letter, dated January 24, 2002, reads. “I want to be your new pen pal. I am an old man, 77 years old, but I love kids; and though we have not met I love you already. I live in Texas – I will write you from time to time – Good Luck. G. Walker.”

Though Bush sometimes hinted at his real identity — like sharing a picture of the family dog, Sadie, who has “met a lot of famous people,” and sharing that he was invited to the White House for Christmas — Timothy didn’t learn the truth until after he graduated from the program.

“After a while, my executive assistant, Angie Lathrop, took over the sponsorship, and after Timothy graduated at 17, she flew to the Philippines to meet him,” former president of Compassion International, Wess Stafford, told CNN. “That’s when she told him who his sponsor really was.”

The stunned child said the revelation was “life changing.”

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