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Public Papers - 1990

Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Luncheon With the Founding Directors of the Points of Light Initiative Foundation

1990-03-30

The President. Well, today I have the pleasure of welcoming to the White House an extraordinary group of Americans. These distinguished men and women, along with two others who couldn't be with us today, have agreed to serve as the founding directors of the Points of Light Initiative Foundation. I'm looking forward to serving as Honorary Chairman. The founding directors and I share the same vision for this foundation, and the aim of it is to make service to others central to the life and work of every individual, group, and institution in America, from our largest corporations to our smallest neighborhood associations.

Drug abuse, illiteracy, inadequate education, homelessness, hunger, environmental decay, and other critical social problems can indeed be solved. In fact, as we demonstrated Monday by naming the 100th daily Point of Light, these problems are already being solved in every corner of the Nation -- men and women of all ages and organizations of every conceivable type who are tackling these problems in a direct and consequential way.

The growth and magnification of Points of Light must now become an American mission. Today we're not creating a program: we're adding a new dimension to a national movement. Block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, life by life, we can reclaim those living in darkness. And with every American's help, we will.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for being such a significant part of this major national effort. Thank you. Now we go upstairs and have a little lunch.

Lithuanian Independence

Q. Mr. President, what did you tell Mr. Gorbachev in your message?

The President. Well, it's a confidential message, and if I told you what I told him it wouldn't be confidential. [Laughter]

Q. Have you heard back from him? Confidential or not?

The President. Not yet. But I believe there was some indication, in fact, that the message had been received. But as I mentioned to you all, we try to stay in close touch with world leaders, and this is just one more manifestation of that. But I want to be sure that the Soviets understand our position and understand that we're not trying to make things difficult for Lithuania or the Soviet Union or anybody else.

Q. Could you tell us what prompted you to send this message, Mr. President?

The President. Just this continual feeling of staying in touch and being sure there's no disconnect because of misinformation. Our views on the question of self-determination and all of that are well-known around the world, but I do not want to risk misunderstanding by failing to communicate. So, that's really what it's all about.

Note: The President spoke at noon in the Diplomatic Room at the White House.

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