BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Melania Trump showed love for her new hometown during a Valentine’s Day arts-and-crafts session with pediatric patients Thursday.
At a station where children wrote their “favorite things” on construction paper hearts, the first lady went with “My favorite city is Washington.” She signed the heart with her name and stuck it on a board on a wall in the middle of several other hearts.
During the visit to The Children’s Inn on the campus of the National Institutes of Health outside Washington, she also helped make candy boxes — and assisted a line of children in filling them up with a variety of sugary treats — and snow globes. Amani, a 13-year-old boy from Mombasa, Kenya, showed her how to turn a wooden clothespin into a colorful clip.
“This is a big project,” Mrs. Trump said. Amani has sickle cell disease and is preparing for a bone marrow transplant, the White House said. The first lady told Amani that she will pray for him. He presented her with a red heart-shaped box that held a silver necklace with “Hope & Faith” inscribed on a silver circle.
The first lady later wrote on Twitter that she “Loved sharing an afternoon with such sweet valentines! Your bravery, strength, and love is amazing.” She thanked The Children’s Inn and NIH for their “lifesaving work.”
The Children’s Inn is a private, nonprofit residence for children and families participating in pediatric research at NIH. The first lady was at the inn on Valentine’s Day last year when she was informed by her staff of a shooting at a south Florida high school that killed 17 people. She was greeted Thursday by Amber, 9, of San Jose, California. Amber, who participates in a gene therapy trial, was among the children with whom Mrs. Trump spent time during last year’s visit.
Mrs. Trump is focusing her work as first lady on the well-being of children.