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June at Jill's House 
backtotopIn This Newsletter

parentsParents Magazine and Local Radio Stations Introduce Millions to Jill's House 
Jill's House is featured in the "Power of Parents" piece in the July issue of Parents magazine.


Recent media opportunities have raised national awareness about Jill's House and the wonderful ministry we provide for families of children with special needs!


Parents magazine, with a national circulation of more than 2.2 million, included an interview with Jill's House co-founder Brenda Solomon in its latest "Power of Parents" column. Radio stations Mix 107.3, WGPC 95.5 and 94.7 Fresh FM recently aired interviews with Jill's House staff and parents. 


Visit Jill's House News or "like" us on Facebook to see the latest news and headlines, including an upcoming interview on the radio show, FamilyLife Today


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schipperGrief Turned to Joy at Jill's House  
Family Spotlight: The Schipper Family

Victoria (center) sports her cubs shirt and is surrounded by her family, from left: Bonnie, Cheri, Erica and William. 

William and Cheri Schipper had never needed respite as badly as they did one weekend in March when a close friend passed away. The Schippers desperately wanted to attend the funeral in North Carolina. But it would have been nearly impossible for their 16-year-old daughter Victoria, who has an intellectual disability, to travel with them. No siblings or other family lived close by to help; nor was Cheri's mother able to travel from Michigan to relieve the couple. "I started to get a bad feeling," said Cheri. "I realized, maybe for the first time, we were alone with no one to watch Victoria."


With all other possibilities exhausted, Cheri sent up a prayer and an email to Jill's House, where the Schippers had initiated registration months before. "When [Intake Coordinator] Jessica called me the next day to arrange an emergency stay, I was overcome with emotion," said Cheri. "I felt it was God intervening for us."


Jessica was able to help Cheri expedite the necessary paperwork and appointments Victoria needed for a weekend stay. But one final piece of the puzzle remained: finding care for Victoria on Thursday night. Thinking quickly, Jessica discovered that Victoria attended Key Center, the newest of Jill's House's school partnerships. "Coincidentally," Key Center's students were scheduled for a Jill's House overnight stay that very Thursday evening!


That Thursday, Victoria traveled directly from school to Jill's House with her classmates, allowing the Schippers to travel to North Carolina for the funeral.


Not only was Victoria's first weekend visit to Jill's House an answer to Cheri's desperate prayers, but the high-quality care provided at Jill's House alleviated the Schippers' normal fears of leaving Victoria. Cheri knew she didn't need to worry whether caregivers would ignore Victoria, feel uncomfortable or change her soiled diapers. Instead, William and Cheri had peace of mind knowing Victoria was being well cared for and was having a wonderful time. 

Victoria plays the Rhythm Spinner on the Jill's House playground.


What started as a time of grief and emergency for the Schippers has become an instrument of joy and delight for the family. Victoria is now a regular visitor to Jill's House. "At Jill's House, Victoria isn't just being cared for," said Cheri. "For Victoria, it is as if she is at Disney World." 


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hours100,000th Hour of Respite Delivered

On June 10th, Jill's House delivered its 100,000th hour of respite to the families and children we serve! This astounding figure represents transformed lives and hours of rest and reconnection for hundreds of families of children with special needs. 

Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement as we strive to deliver excellent care to these families. Because of you, hundreds of children are experiencing Jill's House sleepovers and camps and their families are experiencing the rest and renewal they so desperately need.

childrensChildren's Laughter Fills the Halls During Summer Camp 

Thirty-one children made crafts, played water games and learned about animals June 18-22--the first of 10 weeks of fun and learning at Jill's House Summer Day Camps. Children attend camp daily from 8:30 am to 4 pm, enthusiastically enjoying each week's themes, activities and special visitors. Whether it's dressing for a safari during "It's a Jungle Out There!" week or holding and petting sea animals during a special visit during "Under the Sea" week, the children have a blast making friends and just being kids. Jill's House Summer Day Camps continue every week through August. 

carnivalFamilies Connect at Jill's House Carnival Night
Trinity and her mom, Rhonda, pet Silky at the Jill's House Carnival Night.

More than 35 Jill's House families were on hand Sunday evening, June 17, for the Jill's House Family Carnival. This first-ever family event gave families the opportunity to meet their children's friends and connect with other Jill's House families.

Throughout Jill's House, children happily ate cotton candy and snow cones, jumped in the bounce house and played carnival games with their families and friends to win tickets they could redeem for prizes. Families enjoyed petting and playing with special visitors Malachi, a therapy dog from Paws4Hearts, and Silky, a therapy horse from Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Center. Parents connected with each other, finding a common bond in the unique challenges and joys they celebrate as parents of children with special needs. One mother commented, "I got chills getting to meet other families like mine."

fellowsWelcome to the 2012-2013 Class of Jill's House Fellows

On June 1st, Jill's House welcomed its second class of Jill's House Fellows--six wonderful women from colleges and universities across the country. They bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to our work caring for children with special needs. 

The Jill's House Fellowship is designed to foster a new generation of exceptional special-needs professionals with invaluable, hands-on experience in a real-world environment. The Fellowship begins in June, and is a paid, full-time job that lasts one year. Fellows live and work with other people committed to serving children with special needs at Jill's House. Most Fellows are trained in nursing, social work or special education. 

"I have always had a heart for children with special needs,and am so excited that I am able to be a part of the Fellows Program at Jill's House," said Jenna Godwin, Fellow from Lancaster Bible College. "In just a few weeks, I have learned so much and feel blessed by the children here." 

Meet the 2012-2013 Class of Jill's House Fellows
  • Ashlyn Gruss, Azusa Pacific University
  • Leah Potecha, Liberty University
  • Kristy Borgman, Hope College
  • Jenna Godwin, Lancaster Bible College
  • Amanda Hale, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Stefani Zabilowicz, Saint Joseph's University


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ridefourthFourth Annual Ride for Jill's House Raises $50,000, Surpasses Goal


The rumble of 175 motorcycle engines could not drown out the cheers along Leesburg Pike into the Jill's House parking lot as motorcyclists and passengers completed a 100-mile ride through Northern Virginia during the Fourth Annual Ride for Jill's House on June 9th. The Ride for Jill's House continues in the memory of Steve Schirmann, who passed away in 2008, but whose passion for serving children with special needs helped to inspire the ride.


After this year's ride, participants enjoyed a barbecue lunch catered by Glory Days (Woodbridge, VA) while Jill's House parent Lissy Joseph shared the impact that rest and relief at Jill's House has had on her family. The 2012 Jill's House Ride raised $50,000--surpassing its goal of $35,000--to help provide respite for families of children with special needs.


The Ride for Jill's House was the inaugural ride for concrete contractor Miller & Long's new team "Concrete Cruisers."


"What better way to have the inaugural ride of the Concrete Cruisers than to honor one that never got to be a Cruiser, Steve Schirmann," said Susan Powell, a member of the team. "It was a beautiful day for a beautiful cause, and everything came together to make it one of the best group rides ever. We can't wait until next year."


"We were humbled by the enthusiasm and passion for Jill's House the riders embodied during this year's event," said Joe Livingood, Chairman of the Ride for Jill's House. "This year's ride was the largest yet, and we look forward to its continued growth in the years to come."


Since its conception, the Ride for Jill's House has raised more than $115,000 to bring rest and renewal to hundreds of families of children with special needs.  

The Ride
Riders gather at Jill's House after completing their 
100-mile ride.

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waystoWays to Support Jill's House
Become a Jill's House Corporate Sponsor

Jill's House is an innovative opportunity for your company to make a significant difference for families and children here in the D.C. area. Through a corporate partnership, your company:
  • Engages employees through volunteer opportunities and workplace giving;
  • Associates its brand with a beloved, local organization, increasing visibility through various marketing opportunities; 
  • Expands reach to community, business and philanthropic leaders;
    Increases business development opportunities through events and stakeholder gatherings; and 
  • Significantly transforms the lives of the families and children with special needs we serve.

Join companies like Accenture, Acuity and ExxonMobil by becoming a Jill's House corporate partner of today! For more information about customizing a partnership package to best meet your company's business goals, contact Denise Daffron at denise.daffron@jillshouse.org or 703.639.5663.


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photoPhoto of the Month

The Jill's House staff love the children we serve even when they cannot be with us. The staff hold signs for Emily, one of our Jill's House friends who was recently in the hospital for spine surgery. Thankfully, Emily is doing much better!


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June 28, 2012


Since opening in October 2010, Jill's House has provided 100,589 hours of respite.

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The 11th Annual Links for Little Ones Golf Tournament 
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The 2012 Links for Little Ones Golf Tournament will take place on October 8, 2012 at 1757 Golf Club. 

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Calling All Runners! 
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Run the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon or 10K on October 28th with Team Jill's House and help us serve children with special needs and their families by doing something you love. Sign up today or contact Kat Vinson at kat.vinson@jillshouse.org or 703.639.5670.


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What Our Families Are Saying...

"I thank God for Jill's House. I miss my daughter a lot when she is there, but she loves being at Jill's House so much. I'm learning to do things for myself and am starting to get some rest!"

"I thank the staff and the many volunteers of Jill's House, who make this possible. It is a relief to know that our son is happy, safe and well cared for while he is also having fun with friends. We are able to take care of other parts of our lives and are better able to care for him when he returns." 

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Work at Jill's House

As Jill's House grows, it continues to need more great people.  


We are currently hiring for the following positions:


-Child Care Specialist


-CDL Bus Driver

-Water Safety Instructors

-Registered Nurse

-Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)


Complete listing and job descriptions.  

Jill's House | P.O. Box 9104 | McLean, VA 22102 | 703.639.5660

CFC #22742 | UW #8244