Santa got a police escort to visit some very special children in Montgomery County last week.

Children getting treatment at the National Institutes of Health got a very special visit from Santa and some elves on December 11, 2019. A motorcade of Montgomery County Police officers on Harley Davidsons accompanied Santa on a ride through the county, collecting holiday donations for kids and their families being treated at the nation’s health center. The ride began at the 5th District police station in Gaithersburg and ended at the Children’s Inn on the campus of NIH. The Montgomery County Police stayed around to help Santa hold a holiday party for the kids.

The Montgomery County Police Santa Ride is an annual event designed to bring holiday joy to children being treated for rare and serious illnesses. Excited children lined up as the procession made its way to the inn, complete with flashing lights and sirens. The kids and their families got pictures with Santa and participated in fun activities like ornament-making and face-painting. Police officers also took each child shopping in the “Gingerbread Shop” where they could choose from a variety of donated toys and gifts for themselves and their parents. 

Children’s Inn resident Luana paints the face of Montgomery County Police Lieutenant David McBain during the annual Santa Ride party held at The Inn (courtesy Jen Forester, The Children’s Inn at NIH)

The Children’s Inn at NIH is a special residence designed to accommodate the families of children receiving treatment at NIH. The nonprofit serves more than 1,500 children each year, providing free lodging while they are undergoing clinical trials and treatments for rare illnesses. The children are also helping researchers understand these diseases to hopefully find a cure in the not so distant future.

You can help support the families at the Children’s Inn by visiting the center’s website and viewing the volunteer and donation opportunities.