Visit included meeting families, volunteers and emergency staff
Entourage and security personnel surprised by stop-off at Whataburger
Continuing to celebrate December’s spirit of giving, First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence visited hurricane-damaged areas of Texas this week to meet first responders, visit families in the process of rebuilding, and assist volunteers with their ongoing efforts to help victims.
Joined by Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott and Land Commissioner George P. Bush upon their arrival in Corpus Christi, they indicated that in the “spirit of Christmas” they wanted to support the families, emergency responders and military personnel who continue to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation of Aug. 25.
The group held a meet-and-greet with some of the first responders of the Harvey recovery effort in Corpus Christi. On the way out of town, they visited a Texas institution, a Whataburger store to order burger and fries for the entourage including the press. They then traveled to Rockport to see restoration efforts and meet with residents like the Zamorano family, whose home was destroyed by the hurricane. They saw the family’s new Manufactured Housing Unit, provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where they reside until they can move into a new, rebuilt home.
“I am so impressed by your positive attitudes and resilient spirit,” the First Lady told the Zamoranos. “Your family is an example of what it means to have hope.”
They convoy of dignitaries, secret service agents, law enforcement personnel and media then visited with 4th graders at Charlie Marshal Elementary School in Aransas Pass and stopped by a local food bank to meet with volunteers and help sort out boxes of donations.
“The effects of the hurricane season are still being felt throughout southern portions of the United States and in Puerto Rico, and residents still need our help,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “While I am heartened by the strength and resilience of those impacted by the storms, I will continue doing all that I can to lend a voice and shine a spotlight on those who need assistance to rebuild and start new family traditions. As Christmas and the New Year approach, I encourage people to lend their time volunteering or providing financial support to those still reeling from the hurricanes.”
The White House acknowledged that “for many Americans, December will be a month of rejuvenation before the New Year. But for families who lives were turned upside down by natural disasters in Texas, California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Louisiana, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the road to recovery can be long and difficult—months after the news cycle has moved on to other stories.”
President Trump and the first lady traveled to the devastated Houston area just days after Harvey made landfall to also comfort victims and thank emergency personnel.
“Our hearts are encouraged by the people of Texas and their continued enthusiasm to help each other pick up the pieces and rebuild after Hurricane Harvey,” said Mrs. Karen Pence. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the people of Texas.”