This interview with Jennie Lucca, CEO, The Children’s Inn at NIH and Todd Pantezzi, CSO, Customer Value Partners (CVP) and Chair of the An Evening For Hope Volunteer Committee, shares an update on The Children’s Inn, changes to this year’s gala, and how industry can get involved in supporting this worthwhile cause.
Following a Mission-Driven Purpose
Opening its doors in June of 1990, The Children’s Inn serves as an important non-profit partner to the NIH, providing lodging and support services for children, teens, and young adults with rare and serious diseases whose best hope for a diagnosis or treatment is an NIH clinical research study. The Inn and its team work to take care of the little things, like groceries, food, and clothing, so families can focus on their children. The Inn also provides educational, recreational and, health and well-being programs to ensure families are supported in every way possible during their stay.
Navigating the Pandemic
Operating during the pandemic has led to numerous challenges, including keeping families safe and connecting with supporters. During a typical year, The Children’s Inn serves over 1,500 families. However, in 2021 a total of 407 families stayed at The Inn. Supporters that would have typically come together throughout the year for dinners, programming and activities have not been able to over the past two years.
Despite this, partners and donors remained dedicated in their support of The Inn, ensuring necessary funds continued to find their way to where they were needed most. As was the case in many treatment facilities, The Inn’s staff shone as true heroes throughout the past two years, essentially risking their own safety, being on site daily as needed, to ensure The Inn’s families received the attention they required.
Looking to hope, and to the future, as they do with the children and families they serve, The Children’s Inn at NIH is focused now on its 2025 Strategic Plan, to include an ambitious new renovation, returning to in-person events and resuming partnerships and partner events with the Federal IT and consulting community.
Working alongside the NIH, The Inn will continue to provide and look to improve support to future families, to include new programs, and being an even stronger partner to the NIH.
An Evening For Hope
The annual An Evening For Hope gala returns this year after a two-year hiatus and with great anticipation. This hallmark event looks both to raise $1M to support critical programming and to increase awareness and support for The Inn.
This year’s event will feature 13-year-old violinist, Ceasar Sant, a recent Inn guest. Caesar’s story is one of inspiration and a perfect example of why The Inn exists.
While the number of people able to participate in-person this year is limited to 450, anyone will be able to help support efforts this year through an engaging and fun online silent auction. Details will be available soon and will be updated here and shared through the Daily Take newsletter.
Help Beyond the Gala
The Children’s Inn at NIH will look, in the near future, to partner with industry more than ever. While financial resources are important, The Inn has always relied on industry’s expertise and experience, on donations of product and technology, and on pro-bono services to help achieve its missions. These donations, monetary and in-kind, ensure The Inn can continue to modernize and evolve to meet the changing needs of its families.
The Inn also appreciates and welcomes the individual fundraisers and events conducted by industry, continuing to develop and maintain relationships to support all that are involved with the children and families staying at The Inn.
While COVID presented challenges across the board, The Children’s Inn continues to thrive and move forward in its mission to be a free, family-centered “place like home.” Need a few more reasons to consider adding your support to The Inn? Check out the photo gallery below.
About The Children’s Inn at NIH
The Children’s Inn at NIH is a residential “place like home’’ for families with children participating in leading-edge research studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. The NIH Clinical Center is the nation’s premier and world’s largest hospital dedicated solely to clinical research, which provides an opportunity for our residents to be partners in advancing medical discoveries and improving the health of people all over the world. While the NIH takes care of the child’s medical needs, The Inn tends to the child’s heart, soul and spirit.