Former President George H.W. Bush sponsored a child in the Philippines for 10 years after he left the White House, the charity he worked with has revealed.
According to CNN, Bush exchanged letters from 2002-2012 with a boy named Timothy — who was 7 when the pen pal relationship began.
Bush wrote often and even sent Timothy money for his education and food, along with gifts.
For security reasons, Bush did not use his real name and instead used the pseudonym George Walker to sign his letters. The boy was unaware a former president was his pen pal until he turned 17.
The nonprofit organization Compassion International handled the relationship between Bush, who called himself "an old man" in his first letter, and the boy.
Bush's spokesman confirmed to CNN the existence of the letters.
"His letters were the most sweet, spirited letters I have read from any sponsor, but he kept giving hints as to who he could be," former Compassion International president Wess Stafford told CNN. "He was really pushing the envelope."
For example, Bush sent a photo of his dog Sadie and once said he visited the White House for Christmas.
"Here is a picture of our dog," Bush wrote. "Her name is Sadie. She has met a lot of famous people. She is a very good dog. She was born in England. She catches mice and chipmunks, and she runs like the wind."
Compassion International has not heard from Timothy since 2012, when he graduated from the program, despite attempts to find him.
Bush died at age 94 last month and was laid to rest at his presidential library in College Station, Texas following a week of tributes.
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