The headquarters of the Republican National Committee (RNC) was temporarily transformed into “Santa’s Workshop” on Tuesday afternoon. Staffers and volunteers worked to stock and package hundreds of care packages for troops defending America abroad.
The care packages included daily items – valued luxuries to those in the field – such as socks, razors, shampoo, and snacks, like chips and candy, which were stuffed in 300 care packages by the staffers in the lobby. At the very end of this assembly line was a huge table with hand-made Christmas greeting cards, where all the staffers could write their own personalized wish to the receiving military men.
A special box, packed and prepared by the RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, was offered a little more with what was declared as the “golden ticket”, a Make America Great Again hat personally signed by President Donald Trump himself was included.
Other gifts in the package further included items, like playing cards, football, playing cards and a collection of special hot sauce packets, including the Cholula and Sriracha.
These specific goods packed in the boxes were selected with the advice of Chad Longell, who happens to be a veteran himself, and he had served as the RNC’s director of military and veteran engagement, who shared his personal experience with the staff of how much receiving a care package actually meant to him when he was deployed abroad.
“As a veteran, I can tell you getting a care-package during the holidays can really boost morale,” Longell said. “They’re far away from all these everyday supplies we can just easily walk a block or two to get—getting a little piece of home in a faraway place really means a lot. I definitely want this to be an annual tradition for the RNC. My staff has loved getting involved in this. Most importantly, it’s a way to support our veterans, who we should be thinking about all year long but especially during the holidays when they’re away from families.”
McDaniel further said that her special box, containing the Trump-signed hat was also a bit “snack heavy,” as per the advice that she had received from Longell and other veterans.
“Chad and I were talking today about what it meant for him to get that package — he had said he really liked the snacks, so I made my box a little snack heavy,” she said.
Military dogs would be waiting for their care packages too, and there are special care packages for them, which include squeaky toys, treats, bones, and even a cooling pad to lay on a particularly hot day. The staffers packed these packages, and while these special care packages were being packed, a military dog was present as well, a black Labrador called Saint. Many of the disabled veterans were also present who showed up to show love and support to the military men deployed overseas
“I think it’s a great way to bring this country together, to unify around supporting our veterans,” McDaniel had said.
“We hope we’ll set the tone,” she further added. “We want this to be a bipartisan effort. Everybody should be doing this.”
She also said that she firmly believes that the Democratic National Committee could now afford to put on an event like the RNC’s, McDaniel had said, “I think everyone can afford to do something to say thank you to our veterans this holiday season.”