NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NINR Staff Serve Up Dinner and More at the Children’s Inn

large group of men and women in an industrial-size kitchen, behind a counter holding several serving dishes of food
NINR Director Dr. Shannon Zenk and NINR staff provide dinner to the children and families at the Children’s Inn. In the kitchen are (from l) Wendy Pond, Eddie Byrnes, Olga Acosta, Will Thompson, Zenk, Sarah Yoon, David Timpane, Joanie Dawson, Tanna Nelson, Paula Stonebanks, Kalli Mays and Pooja Varma.

Photo:  Olga Acosta

Since the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is leading the Combined Federal Campaign at NIH this year, staff have been thinking a lot about giving back to the community by donating money or time to charities. The Family Dinner Program is one option for volunteering at the Children’s Inn at NIH. In this program, volunteers prepare a meal for children with rare and serious diseases and their families. NINR staff enthusiastically served in this capacity on the evening of Nov. 8. 

Mays (l) and Stonebanks smile in inn kitchen
Mays (l) and Stonebanks helped coordinate the dinner.

Photo:  Olga Acosta

Eleven volunteers from NINR prepared a lasagna dinner for about 40 children and their family members. Starting at 3 p.m., volunteers heated up lasagna and garlic bread. Around five, the meal was served along with salad, cold drinks and desserts, all brought in by the volunteers. By six, the NINR staff were cleaning up. And, close to seven, they left, feeling deeply grateful for this special opportunity to serve. 

As the inn website states, “A shared meal builds camaraderie by giving children and families a chance to get to know one another, gives caregivers a break from shopping and cooking and alleviates financial stress.” The NINR staff knew they had served this up for one special night. 

Seven staffers in face masks and gloves gesture toward the camera
NINR staff glove up and mask up in order to serve up!

Photo:  Olga Acosta

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

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