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Mississippi native represents state while decorating White House for the holidays

Photo courtesy of the White House/website.

One Mississippi resident traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent the state after being selected to decorate the White House for the Christmas season.

Olive Branch native Valerie Cox arrived at the United States capital less than one week before Thanksgiving after being notified earlier that month that she had been selected as a White House decorating volunteer.

According to Cox, she had applied to be a volunteer several times throughout the year after hearing about the opportunity from a previous White House decorating volunteer.

“I applied in October. I had written several letters and sent a few emails throughout the year. I’m not exactly sure which one did the trick, it was the application or the letters, but I found out the first week in November that I had been selected to be a White House volunteer,” Cox stated.

In total, approximately 150 volunteers from across the nation were selected to help decorate for the holiday season, with at least one individual being selected to represent each state.

“It was a very organized process,” Cox explained. “Our team was on the ground floor and we did the Diplomatic Reception Room, the Library, the Vermeil Room, and the China Room.”

Cox added that each decoration ties into this year’s theme of “We the People”, bringing designs and elements that represent optimism and community.

“It was about how the country is made up of people from all over the world that have come to America and we are all united in ways we don’t even realize,” Cox said. “Each room had a unique element to that theme.”

She explained that her favorite decoration to make was a garland of family recipes from the volunteers’ families, with Cox contributing her grandmother’s apple cranberry crunch recipe.

“It was just a fun way to see that we all are united, even in the food that we eat. We are more alike than we are different no matter what part of America you live in,” Cox stated.

To see the full tour of the White House’s holiday decorations for 2022, click here.

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