Public Papers

Remarks on Presenting a Point of Light Award to the Voice of Hope Ministries in Dallas, Texas


Let me just say Barbara and I are delighted to be here. In the first place, I want to salute all at the Dallas Naval Air Station, and say it's a pleasure to be back.

But today what I wanted to do here in this very brief period of time was to salute those that are gathered here not only to commemorate this 50th anniversary of the Dallas Naval Air Station but also to recognize the volunteers of the Voice of Hope Ministries as the 424th daily Point of Light. I think the name is well chosen, for you bring to the citizens of this corner of Dallas what they need most, and that is a sense of hope, the belief that every community can be reborn and that everyone can succeed.

Having known a life of poverty herself, Kathy Dudley was determined to help others overcome the hardships that she had experienced. And she founded Voice of Hope Ministries in 1982. And when you began, you had only a dilapidated, abandoned school for a meeting place. With hard work and faith in God and in yourselves, you've transformed that building into a thriving community center full of love and support for all who seek it.

Through your programs to enrich the lives of young people and seniors, your literacy and financial management programs to open the door to economic opportunity, and then other related programs, you are reclaiming the community from despair and disintegration. You're making a community whole.

And so, I am very grateful to speak for a grateful nation in saluting you for the strides that you've made. You are real-life American heroes, and all of us are very, very proud of you. And for those out there who say it can't be done, some communities can't be saved, I say to them: You all come to Dallas and see the Voice of Hope Ministries for yourself.

And thank you, then, to all of you for being a Point of Light. And God bless each and every one of you.

And now it is a privilege and a pleasure to present to the volunteers and staff of the Voice of Hope the 424th daily Point of Light recognition letter.

Note: The President spoke at 1:15 p.m. on the tarmac in front of the Dallas Naval Air Station Operations Building. Following his remarks, he returned to Washington, DC. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.