From 1992 to 2011, Scott-Long Construction, Chantilly, Va., focused exclusively on building for not-for-profit clients. As the company’s portfolio expanded to include commercial and for-profit clients, the firm wanted to stay true to its roots of giving back to the community. 

“Our team wants to be part of something bigger than itself. It is no fun living with an inward focus,” says CEO John Scott. “We want to be fulfilled by having an outward focus. This translates way beyond community service; we need to serve our customers that way whether we are getting paid or not.” 

Most recently, Scott-Long Construction took its work for The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—a world-renowned biomedical research facility located in Bethesda, Md.—beyond construction. While working on a $1 million playground renovation project at The Children’s Inn that would help lift the patients’ spirits and potentially improve their chances of healing, Scott-Long Construction decided to give the children something they could keep a little closer to their hearts. 


For two days, Scott-Long Construction employees spent their lunch breaks putting together 100 furry friends at the local Build-a-Bear to give to the kids staying at The Children’s Inn. On the morning of the grand opening for the new playground, all 100 bears were delivered by Scott-Long Construction employees to the children’s mailboxes. 

“For most children, it takes nothing more than a friend, such as a teddy bear, to make things seem less scary and to give them the strength to carry on,” says Scott-Long Construction Marketing Coordinator Jeff Allen. “We wanted not only the children at the inn to have bears, but for their siblings to have one as well. This was something that was from the heart as opposed to simply buying something right off the shelf. After all, we are in the business of building.”
During the time spent working on the NIH playground, staff interacted with the children on a daily basis, encouraging them to remain positive with a big smile and taking time to sit down and play a game with them. 

“The best part of the event was the ribbon cutting for the playground,” Scott says. “The staff at the NIH Children’s Inn was gracious and appreciative of our work on the playground and the special touch of providing the bears.” 

Ranging from charity donations to individual and team-based volunteer work, employees at Scott-Long Construction make additional time in their day to give back to their community. 

“They say that giving is better than receiving, and we are learning that,” Scott says.