Dec. 24, 2006 -- Former President George Bush and ex-first lady Barbara Bush joined The Salvation Army's red kettle campaign this week, and sat down with "This Week" to talk about giving back for the holidays.
Barbara Bush: It's part of Christmas -- and it's so easy because you go by with change from something you've bought and you just put it in the bucket. You're not going to miss it. … And I hope every store will allow the Salvation Army kettle to be there. They don't stop people; they don't bother them; they smile at them and ring that cute little bell and hope that people will put something in it.
Former President George Bush: These volunteers, these faithful people, are out there doing the lord's work. … There's so many people in need, so many people that need help. And one of the reasons we're proud to be identified with The Salvation Army if that they really do help people that need it.
Barbara Bush: Giving is so easy. It's a luxury, really, for George and me. We're lucky to be able to volunteer. And it makes a huge difference in our life.
George Bush: Giving to others is of vital importance in the history of our country. And it's vitally important to the present of our country. … No definition of a successful life [should exist] that does not include service to others. And here's an example of an organization that serves others.
Barbara Bush: There's all sorts of ways to volunteer. You can volunteer in the public schools and be a mentor for children who really don't have anyone who know their name and care about them. … We just ought to share. We have so much. And it's a joy to share.
George Bush: When we're talking about something like The Salvation Army, it transcends politics. It's just opening our hearts to people that need help. … I've learned in working with Bill Clinton [that] you don't have to see eye to eye on political issues to work together for something bigger than yourself.
We've traveled around the world, actually, and traveled to the ravaged areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and I think both of us agree that far greater than, more important than, politics is helping somebody else. And that's where volunteerism comes in, and that's where the Salvation Army comes in.
Barbara Bush: Working for God may not pay much, but the retirement benefits are out of this world.
George Bush: And we out to know because we're in God's waiting room at 82 and 83 [years old].
Barbara Bush [laughing]: You are. You are, but I'm not. George Bush [laughing]: Oh, okay.