The Rackley family has had a horrible time since a tornado hit their home earlier this month in Caruthersville, Missouri, when a series of severe tornadoes hit multiple states on Dec. 10. killing at least 88 people.
Trey and Meghan Rackley and their daughters Avalinn, 7; Alanna, 3; and Annistyn, 9 had just moved into their new home the week before. The family hid in the bathroom of their home. This was the last picture taken of the girls before the tornado hit that they texted to the girls’ aunt.
Minutes after snapping a photo with her family sheltered in a bathroom, 9-year-old Annistyn Rackley was killed by a tornado sweeping through her Missouri town.
— Kolten Parker (@KoltenParker) December 14, 2021
The tornado ripped apart their home. Annistyn was killed. Meghan suffered broken bones and severe brain trauma and is still recovering. Trey and Alanna suffered minor injuries. Avalinn described what happened when the tornado lifted her. “I was flying around in the tornado and I prayed to Jesus to take care of me, and he spit me out — and the tornado spit me out into the mud.” She suffered broken vertebrae, has to wear a back brace for her injuries, and is learning how to walk again.
Many in the nation were touched by the photo of the little girls who had been through so much tragedy.
But Avalinn got some very special Christmas presents that her grandmother, Pam Moore, told her about excitedly. The little girl was sitting with her father, Trey, in matching Christmas onesies, waiting with anticipation. The grandmother announced with a great flourish that the boxes stuffed with presents were from President Donald Trump, which made the little girl squeal, “Oh, my God!” with delight.
Headline-Heartwarming moment seven-year-old Avalinn Rackley who was seriously injured by Missouri tornado which killed her sister squeals with delight as she receives boxes of Christmas gifts from Donald and Melania Trump. pic.twitter.com/ehZTCJsrdm
— Ron Milner (@RonMilnerBoodle) December 26, 2021
There was a letter from both Donald and Melania Trump with the presents.
“We are so encouraged by the strength and determination you have shown during this very difficult time. You will remain in our hearts for complete care and comfort as you continue to recover,” the letter read. “With your steadfast spirit, and the unwavering strength and support of your wonderful family and many friends, your future potential is limitless. May God bless you and your family.”
“Donald and Melania Trump sent a package! They got hats signed by Donald Trump, Presidential blankets, American Girl Dolls, books signed by President Trump and Melania, pens, bracelets and so much more!” Moore posted on Facebook on Christmas Day.
Moore said that Avalinn has more therapy to do in the hospital but has “won the heart of everyone in the hospital. She has been so strong. I just know that her big sister Anni is right with her. I can feel it,” she said.
How sweet is this? It’s just the thing to bring a little joy to a family that has been hard hit by so much. The little girl was so thrilled by such thoughtful gifts. The family still has a lot of recovery to go through but this will likely buoy them in that effort to know that people care about them and want to support them. Notably, this wasn’t made public by Trump, but by the grandmother who posted about it on Facebook. Otherwise, no one would have known about it, so it wasn’t done for media attention but just to be kind. We could use a lot more of such kindness — and good on the Trumps for reaching out to this family.