Two Iowans, Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton, founders of the nonprofit organization Outreach, are the 5,000th winners of the Point of Light award created by former President George 
H.W. Bush. Bush, with President Barack Obama, will present the award to the Hamiltons in a ceremony to be held in the East Room, The Washington Post reported.

 

The couple from Union, Iowa, founded the nonprofit in 2004 after seeing children die of malnutrition during a trip to Tanzania. The organization's mission is to provide safe water, food and medical care. It funds that mission by purchasing handcrafted baskets made by women in the Singida region of Tanzania, which are then shipped prepaid to churches and other organizations to be sold on consignment.  


Outreach has also organized food packaging events around the country, with more than 233 million meals packaged to date, according to its website.

 

The Thousand Points of Light award, established by Bush in 1989, celebrates the power of individuals to spark change and improve the world. Its name, like the Points of Light charitable foundation begun during Bush's presidency, is a reference to his 1989 inaugural address, in which he spoke of "a thousand points of light."

 

Obama has been a proponent of volunteerism as well, the Post reported, launching a National Day of Service connected to both of his inaugurations. Today, Obama is expected to announce a new federal task force to identify new ways that the government and the private sector can work together on national service projects.