In a statement released on Wednesday (Aug. 21), the foundation said the award was created to “honor outstanding individuals who advance solutions to the world’s toughest challenges and exemplify the extraordinary traits of its late founder.”
“Garth is one of our generation’s true singer and songwriter legends — but what many people aren’t aware of, is Garth’s commitment and passion for creating viable change in communities across America,” said Neil Bush, chairman of Points of Light in a statement. “My father always admired the way Garth used his visibility to support and lift up those in need. And much like my father, Garth is a true humanitarian whose generosity comes from his empathetic compassion for others.”
Brooks will receive the award during the Points of Light Gala on Sept. 26 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City at an event that will feature honorary chairs former presidents George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
“The fact that this award is a reflection of 41, his beloved Barbara, and the work they believed in is the greatest honor,” said Brooks in the statement. “An award is only as good as its recipient — my hope and goal is to make the Bush family and the Honorary Chairs proud that Garth Brooks is the first name on this award for caring and compassion.”
Among Brooks’ charitable efforts over the years is the 1999 co-founding of the Teammates for Kids Foundation, which converts 5,000 professional athlete’s sports stats into dollars for children’s charities focused on health, education and inner-city outreach. He and wife Trisha Yearwood have also volunteered building homes for Habitat for Humanity for more than a decade.
“In these extraordinary times, people are looking for the inspiration, creativity and energy to make change,” said Natalye Paquin, president and CEO of Points of Light. “President George H.W. Bush believed in the transformative power of service and in the ability of one individual to make a significant difference. These principles have guided Points of Light for nearly 30 years, and that is why we are launching an annual series of awards that recognizes individuals worldwide with an extended, significant, and impactful history of service. We believe that what we celebrate is a reflection of what we value, and we are pleased to celebrate Garth Brooks’ contributions to improving humanity with this inaugural award.”