Remembering President George H.W. Bush
How the Former President Inspired Dave Thomas to be a National Adoption Advocate
Today, on this National Day of Mourning honoring George H.W. Bush, we remember fondly the role that President Bush played in encouraging our founder, Dave Thomas, to become a national advocate for adoption. In 1990, President Bush asked Dave to serve as a special liaison for his “Adoption Works for Everyone” initiative. "Adoption Works for Everyone" was a program designed to unite local adoption agencies and national corporate affiliates. With assistance from the news media, the aim was to raise the public awareness of adoptable children and demonstrate ways to provide them with permanent homes.
The “Adoption Works for Everyone” program also included a component to incentivize federal agencies to support the adoption plans of employees and Dave encouraged every employer to offer the same support. In the following letter, dated August 3, 1990, President Bush thanks Dave for his role in the program and praises Wendy’s Adoption Assistance Program, which is still a benefit for Wendy’s employees today. Bush writes, “Generous and innovate employee programs like that of Wendy’s can help turn dreams into reality for America’s waiting children.”
After becoming a national spokesperson for adoption, Dave knew he could do more. In 1992, he established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Now, after more than 25 years, extensive initiatives to raise awareness for and encourage foster care adoption in the U.S. and Canada – and through the support of more than 400 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters, the Foundation is directly responsible for more than 8,000 foster care adoptions and continues to pursue the legacy of advocacy that both President Bush and Dave Thomas shared and inspired.
We honor President Bush for his contribution to Wendy’s dream of a permanent, loving family for every waiting child.