Melania Trump addresses Toys for Tots: 'Remember to be kind'
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Melania TrumpMelania TrumpRaskin: Grisham told Jan. 6 panel about 'names that I had not heard before' Grisham says former Trump officials meeting next week 'to try and stop him' Former Trump press secretary to meet Wednesday with Jan. 6 committee MORE says it's more important than ever "for all of us to remember to be kind" with the holiday season approaching amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Due to [the] coronavirus pandemic, many Americans are spending the holidays separated from their loved ones," the first lady said during remarks Tuesday at a Marine Toys for Tots drive at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, "and they have changed routines they have had for many years."

More than 283,000 Americans have died from complications of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.


"Remember that small acts of kindness such as calling your friends and neighbors and making holiday cards for nursing homes can go a long way in spreading cheer and helping those struggling with change," Trump said to the crowd of children and military families gathered.

"Let’s all do a part to be best during these difficult times," she added in a nod to her children's wellness initiative, Be Best.

It was the fourth year that Trump participated in the giving event, which delivers toys to children in need.

Thanking service members, Trump said, "It's fantastic that you brought your children here today, teaching them that the holiday season is not just about receiving presents — it's about kindness and giving back to your community and to the less fortunate."

The first lady, who is said to have donated books and soccer balls to this year's drive, also noted the White House's holiday decor, which was unveiled last month with the theme "America the Beautiful."

"It was my goal that this year's decorations honored and paid tribute to the people and places that have shaped this place we proudly call home," she said.

Trump's comments at the charity effort came months after secret recordings of her appearing to vent frustration about preparing for Christmas at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. aired on CNN, casting a shadow over her holiday-related events.

"I'm working ... my ass off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f--- about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?" Trump is heard saying in a recording captured by her former friend and senior adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.

Trump's chief of staff, Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamThe Hill's Morning Report - Voting rights takes center stage for Democrats Lawmakers take stock of election laws in wake of Jan. 6 anniversary Raskin: Grisham told Jan. 6 panel about 'names that I had not heard before' MORE, slammed Wolkoff at the time, calling the audio clips "hand-picked" and "presented with no context."