Melania Trump visits the Children’s National Hospital-FBN
Melania Trump, who is focusing her work as the first lady on the well-being of children, spent this Valentine's Day with pediatric patients who are undergoing clinical trials and studies.
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The first lady's visit to The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health marks the third time she has visited the Maryland NIH campus to spend an afternoon with some sweet valentines.
"It was so lovely that Mrs. Trump was able to spend a significant amount of time with each child," Aisha Dubose, associate director of program and services for The Children's Inn, told FOX Business. "To know how much she cares about the children at The Children’s Inn means so much to our children and families, and it made Valentine’s Day extra special."
Clad all in red, the first lady joined in on a Valentine's Day-themed arts-and-crafts session Friday with the children as they decorated cookies, Valentine’s Day cards and constructed heart-shaped wreaths.
MELANIA TRUMP BRINGS 'SPIRIT OF AMERICA' TO TOYS FOR TOTS
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The first lady also exchanged Valentine’s Day cards with the children who were excited to meet her.
"When she got here, my sister said, 'she’s here, she’s here,'" said 16-year-old Miguel Negrete whose sibling, Amber, is a resident at The Children's Inn. "Her spirits were lifted, yes. I asked her, 'what would make you more excited than meeting the first lady?' She said, 'meeting Jesus Christ'."
The first lady was given flowers and a personalized framed gift on behalf of all the children at The Inn.
"It was fun meeting the first lady," added11-year-old Lucy Wiese has been treated at NIH. "Not many people get to meet her. We talked about decorating cookies and the White House, how many rooms there are."
The Children’s Inn is a residential facility designed to be a "place like home" allowing families with children who are participating in research at NIH to stay free of charge.
“The partnership between the NIH and The Children’s Inn is key in making it possible for children and their families from across the United States and the world to participate in clinical research studies that require regular travel to Bethesda, Maryland,” Jennie Lucca, CEO of The Children’s Inn at NIH, said. “Thanks to The Inn, families never have to worry about paying for lodging, meals or activities that help keep their children entertained and happy, turning trips to the NIH for medical purposes into adventures children genuinely look forward to.”
The Children's Inn is a private 501(c)3 charitable organization, Last year it spent more than $6 million on housing the families of ill children, It opened in 1990 after the NIH donated two acres of land and Merck & Co., Inc. provided $3.7 million to build the Inn. The Friends of The Children’s Inn — a group of congressional spouses — formed and raised $2 million to furnish the residence.
The residential facility live-streamed the first lady's visit alongside a link for those to donate to the non-profit. As of 11:30 a.m. Friday, the facility garnered more than $1,000 as of mid-day Friday.
Over the past year, the first lady also invited Children’s Inn families to participate in The White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll, Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Halloween celebration and the one-year anniversary of her Be Best campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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