First Lady Melania Trump said Tuesday that Americans should remember that acts of kindness can help combat the struggles people are undergoing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year more than ever, it is important for us to all remember to be kind this holiday season. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans are spending the holidays separated from their loved ones and have to change routines they’ve had for many years," she said.
"Remember that small acts of kindness such as calling your friends and neighbors or making holiday cards for a nearby nursing home can go a long way in spreading cheer and helping those struggling with change.”
The first lady, 50, was at Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling in Washington for the annual Marine Toys for Tots Drive.
The charity collects new toys and gives them to children in need.
Trump has invested time in her "Be Best" campaign, which the White House says has a mission of focusing on major issues facing children and encouraging them to be their best in their individual paths.
After calling for kindness during the holidays, she added, "Let’s all do our part to Be Best in these difficult times. Let’s all do our part to Be Best in these difficult times. During this holiday season, and throughout the year, I encourage everyone to think about ways you can safely give back to your community. The Toys for Tots program has proven that idea to give back is timeless and can be done at all ages."
Trump wished people a Merry Christmas and said the nation sent its prayers to all members of the military serving overseas who will not be home with their families for the holiday.
Trump later spoke with children who were making cards for troops overseas and made some cards herself. One child gave her a card that said, "Merry Christmas and happy new year." She also greeted parents.
Attendance was cut in half because of the pandemic and social distancing restrictions were being followed. Second Lady Karen Pence typically attends, but did not this year. Trump wore a mask most of the time, taking it off when she posed for pictures.