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President Obama’s Surprise Present

By Don Valentine

Last Wednesday President Obama turned into “Obama Claus” and surprised the sick kids at the National Children Hospital with an impromptu visit. He arrived with the traditional Christmas hat and carrying a sack of toys for all the kids. His appearance was heartwarming and met with a racaus approval by the kids and staff. The Washington Post reported that only a minimum of staff knew about the appearance. Kurt Newman, the chief executive and president of the Children’s National Hospital is quoted as saying “At such a busy time of year, when no one wants to be in the hospital, his natural warmth lifted the spirits of those kids, their parents and of each staff member he met along the way.”
First on “Obama Claus’s” list was a group of patients 4 years and up who were making snowflakes in one of the hospital’s playrooms. After the excitement died down, the former President handed out jigsaw puzzles (which were his grandmother’s favorite, he told the crowd), Hot Wheels sets, remote-control cars, and glittery nail polish, among other goodies collected by “Obama Claus” and his staffers.
“Obama Claus” also dropped by individual patient rooms for one-on-one visits with children and their parents. He gifted one 12-year-old patient who was nervous about heading to high school next year with a piece of advice he said, “Even the cool kids don’t have it all figured out.”
Before leaving, “Obama Claus” thanked the staff for working during the holidays and recorded a video message to be played on the hospital’s internal TV system for those he wasn’t able to visit during the trip.
At the end of his 90 minute visit the doctors, residents and nurses cheered for “Obama Claus” before bursting into an impromptu rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Think our current “Grinch in Chief” might learn from example?

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