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The SAIC team at The Children's Inn.

Leidos Helps Build a New Park for Kids

Leidos employees came out to Build Day at The Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health to help get a new park and playground ready for kids this spring.



A team of Leidos employees came out to Build Day at The Children's Inn at NIH on Nov. 5 in Bethesda, Md., home to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Build Day was planned to help get a new park and playground ready for residents at The Inn.

The team, led by Health Solutions Business Unit General Manager Steve Comber, spent the day painting, staining benches, pitching hammock poles, and planting shrubs at the playground that will open later this spring.

"This is one happy day," said Lori Wiener, Ph.D, an Inn founder and board member who heads Pediatric Psychosocial Support and Research at the National Cancer Institute. "I can't tell you how much it's going to mean to these children who have been hooked up to IVs all day in the clinical center to be able to come back to The Inn and simply play outside, breathe some fresh air, have a little fun, and forget about being sick for awhile.

"Children's lives are going to be better because of what you're doing."

A Place Like Home

The Children's Inn is a residential "place like home" for seriously ill children who are being treated for many kinds of conditions and illnesses at NIH. Opened in 1990, it has housed over 11,000 children and family members from every state in the United States as well as many countries around the world.

"Children from all over the world are referred to NIH for treatment because there is no treatment available at home," said Wiener. "You can imagine how frightened they must be not knowing how long they will be there and what tomorrow is going to bring. When they walk into a welcoming environment like The Children's Inn, it immediately brings them a sense of comfort and a sense of peace."

Leidos also contributed $200,000 to The Inn's playground and park campaign. The Children's Inn is a non-profit that relies on sponsorships and donations.

"We can't do this alone," said Wiener. "We need corporate sponsors in order to give these kids a quality of life, not just quantity. Everything you see around you comes from corporate sponsors like Leidos."

When Comber and his team made their first visit to The Inn, they made a new friend who changed their lives.

"We met a little guy named Bubba who made the comment that The Inn's old playground, well, just wasn't cool," said Comber. It needed some pizzaz. "As soon as he said that I knew we were going to get this done. We wouldn't let Bubba down. This is for all the Bubbas and their parents at The Inn."

"Writing a check is really the easy part," said Comber. "That helps get things done, but it's more than the money. We want to be a part of it. This is something we can hold near and dear to our hearts. We're with them until the end on this one."

The Build Day was featured on WJLA Channel 7 News. Watch it on YouTube.


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