In Their Own Words: Sue Lauf

Volunteers are an integral and quintessential part of The Inn’s mission. They provide warmth, care, support, and hope to our children, young adults, and their families during their stay. Here is Sue Lauf, a committed Inn volunteer, in her own words.

photo of volunteer

Tell us about yourself

I am a retired Practice Management Consultant. My job entailed going into medical offices to evaluate their processes and see how they could improve their efficiency. I’ve worked in primary care offices and just about every subspecialty.  I began my career in hospital administration at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. Before moving to Maryland, I was working at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. My husband and I have five children between us, and five grandchildren, with two more on the way!

What brought you to The Children’s Inn?

When I retired five years ago, I looked for volunteer opportunities. I felt The Children’s Inn at NIH was a great fit due to my background in pediatrics. I was also looking to volunteer at a place where I could use this experience to help make a difference.  

What has been your most memorable experience while volunteering at The Inn?

There are so many, but one situation does stand out.  Pre-pandemic, I volunteered one day, every other week.  However, last April, I was one of five volunteers to be asked to come back twice a week. Because I was here so often, I got to know some of the families.  What I had never experienced before was watching a child and her father leave to go back to their country after being here for more than a year. The fact that she could return home was such a milestone in her medical journey.  Everyone working at The Inn that day was so happy for her, coming to the lobby to say goodbye, clapping, and just celebrating her.  You get to know these families so intimately and celebrate their successes.  It was truly heartwarming, and I was happy I was there to witness and take part.   

What is your message of hope to Inn families?

The Children’s Inn will always be a safe, comfortable, and caring “place like home.”  No request is too big. There is a capable team whose job is to welcome, nurture and keep the place running like a five-star hotel.  The Children’s Inn is truly a special place, and I’m honored to be a part of it.