First lady Melania Trump and second lady Karen Pence returned to Texas on Wednesday to follow up on hurricane recovery efforts. They met with first responders, visited victims at a home and at an elementary school, and assisted in packing food boxes for victims.
Cecilia Abbott, wife of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush joined Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Pence at a Corpus Christi International Airport hanger.
The four spent time at the Signature Hangar with 40 to 50 first responders including members of the U.S. Army, Corpus Christi Fire Department, Rockport Police Department and Nueces County Sheriff’s Office.
As midday came the First and Second Ladies left to visit the Rockport home of Rosemary and Mario Zamorano and their family. The home was detroyed in Hurricane Harvey. The Zamoranos have raised their five children in the home and plan to rebuild. For now the family is living in a FEMA-provided trailer that now sits next to the remnants of their home.
Bush and Abbott came along for the visit to the site and with the Zamoranos. Bush stated that 600 of these temporary homes have been provided to Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas. Abbott expressed her thanks to the First and Second ladies for making the trip and for commitment to hurricane recovery efforts in Texas.
Mrs. Pence called traveling with Mrs. Trump an honor, adding, “[Trump] comes here to Texas with a caring heart and a true concern and compassion for all those impacted by the storm.” She continued, “In fact, the President shares the same concern and he and his administration continue to fight for resources for the people of Texas.”
First lady Melania was impressed with the spirt of the Zamoranos as they confront the challenges of recovering from the hurricane.
“I want to thank Mario and Rosemary Zamorano, and your wonderful children for allowing us to tour what was once your family home,” Trump said to the couple. “I am so impressed by your positive attitudes and resilient spirit, and look forward to the progress you will make as you rebuild your home and make new memories.”
She continued, “As we approach Christmas this holiday season, your family is an example of what it means to have hope and recognize your blessings. You serve as a reminder to all of us that the best gifts are those of family and friends, love and kindness.”
Fourth graders welcomed Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Pence on their next stop in Charlie Marshall Elementary School in Aransas Pass. Abbott and Bush came along for this stop as well. They all visited the children during two separate classes. Mrs. Medina was teaching on the difference between facts and opinions. In Mrs. Lucas’ class the four helped students studying writing. They also helped with a poetry class in the school library.
The leaking, hurricane-damaged Corpus Christi warehouse of Coastal Bend Food Bank was the final stop of the trip. There the first lady visited with the food bank’s executive director Bea Hanson before getting to work stocking boxes with food. She worked alongside retired Army Major Warren Phipps who had been volunteering since the early days after the storm.
The food boxes are distributed throughout the area, including Corpus Christi, Rockport, Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Bayside and Refugio.
First lady Melania Trump and second lady Karen Pence each visited Texas with their husbands in the early days after Hurricane Harvey. The Trumps served meals, met with officials and spent time with victims between two trips made just days after the natural disaster. The Pence’s visited within days of the Trumps.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana