tv First Lady and Second Lady Prepare Care Packages for Troops CSPAN November 28, 2018 2:14pm-2:31pm EST
first foray to being in the minority in a legislative body but there are two opportunities and i serve on two committee, the armed services economy and the veterans affairs committee, so i still see opportunities there to work with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to address those issues most important to me. >> representative jim banks, with the people of indiana and the third direct, thanks for your time. >> thank you. in about 15 minutes, we will have live coverage of a hearing on efforts to change the legal guardianship framework for older americans. that's live, starting at 2:30 eastern, right here on c-span 3. in the meantime, here is the first and second ladies, melania trump and karen pence hoping to prepare care packages for troops overseas. >> thank you, everyone, for so graciously sharing your time with us today.
i'm gail mcgovern, and i have the privilege of being the president and ceo of the american red cross. and i also have the privilege of welcoming you all here at the american red cross to our beautiful home service. we are so deeply honored to have a number of really special guests with us today. first is first lady melania trump. second lady, karen pence. you see elizabeth dole right there. woe have several spouses of our distinguished cabinet members here with us today. and of course, we're also honored to have many spouses from our nation's selfless military families.
on behalf of everyone at the american red cross, thank you all for supporting the brave men and women in the military. they sacrifice so very much to keep us all safe. before we begin today's events, i wanted to quickly share an overview of the american red cross and also speak about the impact that the work we're going to be doing here will have on military members as they're deployed overseas. they say that one in five people in our country have been touched by the american red cross in some way. but it is unusual to meet anybody that really knows everything that we do. most people know we respond to disasters. but what most people don't know is we actually respond to 64,000 disasters every year. that's one every eight minutes. and these range from home fires
to hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods. we also provide about 40% of the nation's blood supply. we teach about 5 million people every year life-saving classes. and these include things like swimming, lifeguarding, baby-sitting, first aid and cpr. and of course, we support military service member, veterans and their families. we are congressionally chartered but we are not a government agency. so everything we do, everything that we do is because of the generosity of volunteers, blood donors and financial donors. and we could not be more grateful. a key part of what we do is support the military, their families, and our veterans. and in fact, during our last fiscal year, we provided more than 460,000 emergency
connections and communications to members of our military and their families. and this could be anything like delivering news of a tragedy at home to a member who is deployed overseas, or something joyous, like helping bring a husband home to witness the birth of his first child. and we have volunteers on all the military bases, all around the world, including in theater, like in afghanistan, and we have volunteers in all of the v.a. hospitals as well. so today, you are going to be helping military members by assembling comfort kits. they are going to be distributed in places like iraq, kuwait, djibouti and poland and these cuts provide personal items, snacks, and personal note of thanks. and with your work this morning, you're joining a group of real legacy of the american red cross. the first time we sent comfort
kits overseas was in world war one in 1917. and the tradition will continue today. on a very personal note, i am the daughter of a world war ii veteran. i am the wife of a vietnam vet. and i'm a proud stepmom of an active duty master sergeant in the air force. and we just learned last week that he is about to be deployed. my stepson missed two christmases back-to-back because he was deployed twice, two different times, in iraq. and he told me that getting cards and comfort items from strangers meant the world to him because it meant that he had the support of the folks back home during the holidays. so the work we are going to be doing here is very important. so i want to thank you all once again for sharing your time with us today.
and for your commitment to the nation's military men and women. our veterans and their families. and now, it is my grate honor to introduce a remarkable woman who is a friend of the american red cross, and a wonderful advocate for america's military families. second lady karen pence is a dedicated wife and mother, and educator, and an award-winning artist. before becoming the first lady of indiana, in 2013, mrs. pence spent 25 years in a classroom as an elementary schoolteacher. her commitment to the well-being of young people, and their families, is evident in everything that she does. especially when it comes to raising awareness about the importance of art therapy. mrs. pence is also a champion of military members and their families, and in particular, she
is committed to educating military spouses about the resources and the opportunities that are available to them and to their families. mrs. pence is such a compassionate and creative woman. and she has truly a caring heart. so i would ask all of you to please join me in giving her a warm red cross welcome. to the second lady of the united states. >> good morning. thank you, gail, for that kind introduction. i commend you on your leadership and your great service to our nation. a lot of those facts were new to me. i don't know if they were to the rest of you, but they were pretty amazing. it is such a pleasure to be here at the american red cross, and in a beautiful hall of service. i'm looking forward to helping to assemble comfort kits for
service members deployed overseas during the holiday season. and i believe that today's service project will mean more than we will ever know to the brave men and women who will be away from their families this christmas. and i'm a blue star mom, so it means a lot to me as well. thank you to the spouses of president trump's cabinet, and the spouses of military service members and veterans for being with us today, to pack the kits. we appreciate you all so much. it is so fun to partner with the cabinet spouses today. and i am so honored to be here with our wonderful first lady, melania trump. melania's compassion and dedication to our nation, and especially our nation's children, deserve great recognition. she has visited hospitals and schools across the united
states. she has raised awareness about the dangers of opioid abuse. specifically the effects the drug has on infants and unborn babies. and the first lady is shining the light on the well-being of children through her campaign, be best. melania, and i learned this the very first time i met her, she has a natural gift of being kind and loving to others. she exudes kindness. every time i see her or speak with her. it was evident when we traveled to texas together last december as part of our continuing efforts to assist those affected by the hurricane. melania wanted to shine a spotlight on those who needed assistance to rebuild. she also wanted to encourage americans to lend their time by volunteering, or providing financial support to all of
those still reeling from the hurricanes. she wanted to make this trip during the holiday season, and she asked me to join her. and i was honored to go along and help. but she went further when we were there. i wish you could have been there with us when we visited a family whose home was really half standing there, with no roof, half the walls were gone. she took the children inside the house, she said tell me where your room was, where was your bed. she had them tell her all about their house, and talk about some of the good memories. so i am honored this holiday season to be here with melania, at the red cross, to put together care packages for american troops, currently deployed this holiday season, please join me in welcoming the first lady of the united states, melania trump.
>> thank you, karen for a beautiful introduction and for inviting me to join you this morning. good morning. today's tragic news out of afghanistan only drives home the need to support the men and women in our military and their families. we grieve with the families affected by this terrible loss. our continued prayers remain with all of our troops as we come together this morning to support our armed forces. i'm honored to be here today to participate in such a sincere opportunity for us to honor and thank our troops. thank you to gail mcgovern, and the american red cross, for all that they do to support and care for people around the world.
thank you to elizabeth dole and many of our wonderful cabinet spouses who are here to help in this important effort. and to colby langley, for his service to this country, and all he does, to support our armed forces. it is great to be with all of you today. as many of you may have seen, the president and i unveiled the christmas decorations at the white house yesterday. and held the first of many holiday receptions to thank volunteers. this is such a wonderful time of year, and we are honored to open the people's house to the public so that families from all over the country can enjoy the decorations. as we begin this christmas season, which traditionally means spending time with loved ones, i believe we should also take time to remember all that we are thankful for as a nation.
i'm very thankful for the men and women in uniform who sacrifice daily to protect not only the american people, but our freedoms and way of life. our prayers remain with all those serving overseas. and for the families who wait for them to come home. to the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters, who would be away from home as they answer duty's call, we thank you for your service. this is one small way to say thank you, and honor the sa sacrifices that members of the military make year-around, and i encourage people everywhere to consider participating in acts of service, such as volunteering during this holiday season. thank you all so much for having me here today.