Obamas lend hands at food bank and give kids a surprise visit

Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia and President-elect Obama hand out bags of food at St. Columbanus Parish and School on  Wednesday on Chicago’s south side.

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Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia and President-elect Obama hand out bags of food at St. Columbanus Parish and School on  Wednesday on Chicago’s south side.

CHICAGO — President-elect Obama and his wife took their daughters to work at a food bank on the day before Thanksgiving, saying they wanted to show the girls the meaning of the holiday, especially when so many people are struggling.

Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, joined their parents to shake hands and give holiday wishes to hundreds of people who had been lined up for hours at the food bank on Chicago's south side.

The president-elect, dressed casually in a leather jacket, black scarf and khaki pants, was in a jovial mood, calling out "Happy Thanksgiving" and telling everyone "you can call me Barack."

He told reporters that he wants the girls "to learn the importance of how fortunate they are, and to make sure they're giving back."

The family's activities in the courtyard drew the attention of schoolchildren whose windows overlooked the courtyard. They screamed when the president-elect waved to them.

Obama then turned to his wife and suggested they go visit the kids. Secret Service agents, looking surprised, disappeared inside the building. Minutes later, hundreds of children were brought down to the school auditorium, and Obama loped onstage as they screamed and cheered.

Chores stay: The Obamas said their daughters will still have to do chores in the White House. In an interview with Barbara Walters, the Obamas said Sasha and Malia will have lives as normal as possible. That means helping out around the house.

Bush offers thanks

After sparing the Thanksgiving turkey, "Pumpkin," on Wednesday, President Bush headed to Camp David for Thanksgiving. He thanked troops, volunteers, teachers, pastors, and all the American people. He gave thanks for his wife and twin daughters — and that his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, was doing well after being hospitalized. "Most of all," he said, "I thank the American people for the tremendous privilege of serving as the president."

Associated Press

Obamas lend hands at food bank and give kids a surprise visit 11/26/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:29am]

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