FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sonja Luecke, communications manger, The Children’s Inn at NIH
c: 901-340-1975 [email protected]
Mysba Regis, marketing and communications director, The Children’s Inn at NIH
c: 240-274-2101 [email protected]
The Children’s Inn Is Asking for Community Support in Feeding Families as Coronavirus Safety Measures Disrupt Normal Operations
BETHESDA, Md. (March 19, 2020) – The Children’s Inn at NIH, a nonprofit located on the NIH campus that provides free lodging and support to vulnerable children and young adults with rare and serious diseases participating in clinical research studies at NIH, is asking for the community’s support as it is implementing safety measures that are disrupting the way the organization serves families during the growing COVID-19 outbreak. The suspension of all volunteers as of March 10 is placing the greatest strain on Inn operations.
The Children’s Inn depends on donations to keep its doors open and is asking for the community’s support of its Feeding Families Program at www.childrensinn.org/feedingfamilies to help provide meals to families during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The community may also support The Children’s Inn families by helping provide non-perishable food at www.childrensinn.org/wishlist.
“The safety of our children, young adults and families is always our top priority,” says Jennie Lucca, CEO of The Children’s Inn. “COVID-19 poses a great risk to our children and young people, many of whom are immunocompromised due to genetic diseases or treatments they undergo. Their health and well-being requires us to take extraordinary safety measures, including suspending all support from volunteers and visitors who do so much for our children and families. In addition to providing meals, they also organize many fun activities like arts and crafts, Bingo nights, theater performances and so much more to bring joy to our children and families.”
Every year, The Children’s Inn relies on more than 2,400 volunteers to provide children, young adults and their families with a wide variety of recreational, educational and therapeutic support activities as well as nightly dinners and Sunday brunches. More than 200 volunteers work regular shifts, staffing The Inn’s reception desk, welcoming new families to The Inn and giving them tours of the facility, organizing donations, stocking The Inn’s kitchens and pantries with donated supplies, and more.
“We treasure our volunteers who do so much to help us provide a place like home to seriously ill children, young people and their families,” Lucca says. “While we very much miss their support at this time, we know they would agree with us that this is a necessary step in helping to ensure the safety of our families. We are asking the community for donations to help us make sure we can continue to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to our children and families during this difficult time.”
To keep children with serious diseases and their families safe during the coronavirus outbreak, The Children’s Inn at NIH has implemented a host of safety measures that are changing and disrupting normal operations. Suspending all volunteers – including volunteer groups like GDIT (pictured above) that cook or cater and serve hundreds of meals to Children’s Inn families – is putting the greatest strain on the nonprofit at the moment.
To support The Children’s Inn, please make a donation to the Feeding Families Fund at www.childrensinn.org/feedingfamilies or help provide The Inn with needed non-perishable food supplies at www.childrensinn.org/wishlist.
Additional safety measures The Children’s Inn has undertaken to keep residents safe include screening anyone entering the facility, asking non-essential and administrative staff to telework, suspending all work-related travel and outside trainings as well as tours of The Inn, and enhancing cleaning standards. The Children’s Inn also has asked the children, their families and young adults residing at The Inn not to leave the NIH campus for safety reasons and to practice social distancing within the facility.
Stay updated on Children’s Inn news by checking its emergency website at www.childrensinn.org/covid/.
Located on the NIH campus, The Children’s Inn is a nonprofit hospitality house that offers free lodging and supportive services to families of children with rare and serious illnesses whose best hope for a treatment or cure is a clinical trial at the NIH.
Every year, The Children’s Inn, a private nonprofit, provides lodging and support free of charge to more than 1,500 children, their families and young adults from across the United States and the world who have rare and serious diseases whose best hope for treatment is a clinical research study at the National Institutes of Health.
The Children’s Inn houses more than 1,500 children and their families every year from across the United States and the world, free of charge, to help reduce the burden of illness on families and make childhood possible today and a cure possible tomorrow. For more information about The Children’s Inn, visit childrensinn.org.