June 30, 2014
Since October 2010, Jill's House has provided 361,281 hours of respite.
Martina McBride was the featured artist at A Celebration of Special Children on May 30, which inspired hundreds and raised $1.2 million.
A Celebration of Special Children, an Evening of Inspiration for Jill's House, raised close to $1.2 million.
It's humbling to see how God works when He brings together generous donors, inspiring families, and people who love children with special needs. 
A Celebration of Special Children, a black-tie event hosted by Wayne and Catherine Reynolds on Friday, May 30 at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons, raised $1.2 million to serve families raising children with intellectual disabilities. It was a night that more than 500 guests will always remember.


"Thanks to all of you," shared an event sponsor, "for making A Celebration of Special Children such a lovely evening and inspirational event! Our guests were truly overwhelmed and inspired by the impact Jill's House is having on families. One of my friends said it was a night she will never forget. The venue, the video, the entertainment and most of all the spiritual love that flowed through that room all made for a wonderful and impactful evening. We were so proud to play our small role in this amazing event. Thank you for all you do to make Jill's House such a success and give these families and beautiful children the respite and care they so deserve."


Emceed by Leon Harris and Alison Starling of ABC7/WJLA-TV, the evening included a special performance by Martina McBride, four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, along with the McLean Bible Church Orchestra and Worship Choir.


Brenda Solomon shared how God is using Jill's life to bring respite to hundreds of families affected by disability, and a special Light of Hope award was presented to Phebe N. Novakovic, chairman and CEO of General Dynamics, for her long-standing support for those affected by disability.


The inspiring story of the McNeils,
The inspiring story of the McNeils, "The Gift of Rest" premiered at A Celebration of Special Children.


The event celebrated the families Jill's House serves, like the family of Matt and Shannon McNeil. The McNeils are the parents of Waverly and Oliver, who share a rare genetic disease. Shannon spoke about their journey and thanked the attendees for the way Jill's House lifts them up. A video by Citygate Films documenting their moving story debuted at the event. 


The event's generous hosts, Wayne and Catherine Reynolds, offered a $100,000 challenge gift to help Jill's House serve more families. That night, donors gave $67,500 with more gifts arriving daily. Help us reach this goal and give today. Please include "COSC gift" in the online comment section.


Special thanks to The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation for underwriting the event and to our Signature Sponsors and Co-Hosts Acuity, Inc., and The Johnson Group.
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"Jill's House Is My Support Network That Helps Me Be the Best Dad I Can Possibly Be."
A special Father's Day message from Ron Schuster.

I often reflect upon what it means to be a father and assess how I am doing. Since my son Ronnie's birth on December 25, 2002, I have striven to be the best father I can possibly be, but achieving that goal has rarely been simple and at some points has seemed nearly impossible. In 2003 Ronnie was diagnosed with West syndrome, a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy, and is severely disabled.

While I love Ronnie deeply and admire his ability to brighten a room and lift a person's spirits with his contagious, full-belly laughter, his needs are significant and meeting them can often feel overwhelming. The challenge of being a single father, working full-time as an attorney, and being a great dad to Ronnie is logistically challenging, emotionally draining and physically exhausting. With that said, the joy of spending time with Ronnie, keeping him safe, helping him achieve his potential, and just being his dad make it all worthwhile ... although it's still not easy.


Join Ron blah blah
Watch to learn how Ron supports Jill's House as part of Team Jill's House in the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K. Join Ron and sign up today for the 2014 race on October 26! Registration deadline is August 1. Spaces are limited. Visit jillshouse.org/marathon to learn more and register.

Every year Ronnie spends much of his summers and Christmas holidays at Jill's House. Ronnie is an absolute blessing, and I love the chance to be a truly engaged day-to-day father. Having a support network to ensure that Ronnie is happy, well cared for, and healthy while I work during the week alleviates a real and very stressful challenge. Jill's House enables me to be the father I want to be for Ronnie. I know when I drop him off each day for the Jill's House Summer and Christmas Camps that he will be safe, have fun, and be surrounded by kindness and love throughout the day. As with many parents who have experienced Jill's House that knowledge is incredibly calming and truly helps make what can be especially challenging situations more manageable.


Ronnie and I are so thankful for Jill's House. While Father's Day is a great reason to acknowledge that gratitude, I am very cognizant of the valuable service Jill's House provides to both of us and how it has helped me be a better father to Ronnie every day of the year.


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Tsion's pretty smile says it all! The Jill's House Joy Prom was a night most young girls dream of.
Jill's House Joy Prom is a special night of fun, dancing and memories for children with special needs and their families.

On Sunday, June 8, the second annual Jill's House Joy Prom was a night of dancing, food and fun for many of the children Jill's House serves and their parents. The children were greeted by cheering crowds as they walked (or, for those in wheel chairs, rolled) the red carpet, and were treated to limousine rides, a photo booth, live music, tiaras for the girls, and shoe shines for the boys.


Click the photo above to view all of the photos of the Jill's House Joy Prom.

While the children enjoyed their magical evening, the parents came together to celebrate, too. "Jill's House truly cares for the whole family," said one parent. "I am sure most of us parents have had the same thought at one time or another, that our children are not going to have the opportunity to go to prom, ever. But here are our children at Jill's House, with other kids just like them, having the experience of a lifetime while we parents are standing on the sidelines, in awe. We are so proud and amazed because many of us never thought this was going to happen. It's a bonding moment for our children, and also for us as parents. Thank you for making this night possible for them, and for us!"


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Join Laura and serve at Jill's House.
Mother of child with special needs and wife of husband posted in Afghanistan still finds time to serve.


I was born and raised in New Orleans and lived for many years in Austin, Texas. After receiving my MBA from the University of Texas, I worked in corporate America for companies doing organizational development, leadership development, change management and executive coaching. I left corporate America and became a certified executive/life coach when my husband joined the State Department and we moved overseas. So far we have lived in Turkey and Hungary, and for the last year my husband has been posted to Afghanistan. When he returns at the end of the summer, we will spend another few years in Virginia before we go overseas again.  


I volunteer at Jill's House because I have some idea of what respite means to parents. My husband and I have two daughters. Tessa is 22 and just graduated college. Ava is eight and at five years old was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy and, shortly thereafter, was also diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder. It was a scary and difficult time for us as a family and as parents.


Ava has worked very hard to overcome her challenges. Though they are relatively mild, we have our difficult days and moments, and this past year with my husband posted overseas has been even more stressful. We are fortunate that Ava goes to school and has a very "typical" life. However, our experiences have shown me how incredibly important respite is for parents and the indescribable gift it is for parents to have a place where they know their children are well cared for and loved when they are not with them.


I learned about Jill's House when a colleague in the special needs world told me about it. I found the website and was immediately impressed and wanted to be a part of it! I volunteer for the Advancement team and support them in whatever way I can. Often I work on mailings thanking our amazing donors. Also, I was lucky enough to be able to help out at A Celebration of Special Children!  I am honored to do whatever I can to support the mission of Jill's House.  


To learn more about opportunities to serve at Jill's House, visit jillshouse.org/serve, e-mail sara.potter@jillshouse.org or call 703.639.5671.


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Joe, shown here with Jill, has a special heart for families raising children with intellectual disabilities.
Joe Livingood gives to Jill's House because he sees how God makes real change in the lives of the families we serve.

Joe Livingood is an amazing friend of Jill's House. Not only do he and his wife Susie donate, they also contribute their many talents and time through their ongoing support of our many fundraising events. 


Joe, Vice President of Billy Casper Golf, volunteers hours of time to Jill's House in his role as the committee chairperson of the Jill's House Links for Little Ones Golf Tournament, and also The Ride for Jill's House, an annual event that raised close to $75,000 on June 7.


We recently caught up with Joe and asked him the question: "Why do you give to Jill's House?"


It's simple. Jill's House makes a tangible difference in the lives of families in my community. So many charities are difficult to understand, and you never really know where your donation goes. At Jill's House, you get to see and hear firsthand from the families served how their lives are changed for the better because of the respite they receive from Jill's House.


I believe Jill's House is the glue that keeps parents together and families strong. Without it, the data clearly shows that the family unit falls apart. By keeping the family together through much-needed respite, it changes lives in ways that no other support system ever could.


Families raising children with special needs are all around us. One year, when I was soliciting help for the Ride for Jill's House from law enforcement agencies, I approached an individual about assisting us. As soon as I mentioned Jill's House, he said he'd be glad to help. I later learned he and his wife have two children with special needs and understand exactly what Jill's House does to make a difference in the lives of families like theirs. Wow!


More than anything, my wife and I give to Jill's House because whether you donate time, money or prayer, when you go to sleep at night, you can rest assured you have made a difference. You helped change someone's life in a very positive way.

Jill's House Ride
Watch Joe and learn how Jill's House shows Christ's love through events like the Ride for Jill's House.
Video courtesy of Woody FitzHugh



For more information about giving to Jill's House, visit jillshouse.org/donate or contact Denise Daffron at denise.daffron@jillshouse.org or 703.639.5663.


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Summer interns and Jill's House's 2014/2015 Fellows came together to kick off the summer with a dinner and fellowship.
Jill's House welcomes 2014/2015 Fellows, interns and Joni & Friends.
There are many new faces at Jill's House this month! In June, we welcomed nine new Jill's House Fellows who were selected from a pool of sixty applicants from across the country. The Jill's House Fellowship Program prepares recent college graduates in the field of nursing, social work or special education to develop their careers and support God's work in loving children with special needs.
We are also pleased to host a group of ten summer interns from Joni & Friends, the world's leading disability ministry, who will be with us through July 29 when they will leave for a special mission trip to Haiti.

James Rene, Director of Cause 4 Life and Global Missions at Joni & Friends, shared how Jill's House will make a difference in the lives of the Joni & Friends interns. "What appeals to me most about the internship at Jill's House," said Rene, "is the various programming that you offer. Everything from hands-on practical care service of basic nursing to the incorporation of sensory integration, to educational and spiritual components. And, of course, the Jill's House National Programs will greatly benefit our interns. Jill's House will be a tremendous blessing and make significant impact on our interns, who are typically involved with church missions. Their time at Jill's House will introduce new aspects and provide a rich opportunity for our interns to gain experience that is different from church ministry, but ministry that impacts families in a very real way."
Finally, twelve highly qualified summer interns who will help support the many activities at Jill's House throughout the busy summer months also arrived in June. Rising college seniors from California to Pennsylvania and everywhere in between were chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants for these prestigious roles. The group of godly interns will spend the summer providing services to Jill's House children while receiving hands-on experience that will help guide them as they move into their post-college careers.

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What Families Are Saying
"We are so very thankful for Jill's House. Usually we spend our Jill's House weekends trying to 'catch up' -- either with work or with house chores/projects that never seem to get done. This past weekend, while our child was at Jill's House, we did nothing. I had forgotten what doing nothing or taking a nap feels like, and rediscovered that feeling on Saturday. And prior to Saturday, 'restorative' was a word that I couldn't really relate to... but after a VERY lazy Saturday, 'restorative' means a little more to me now. It's taken a little over a year of respite to get 'caught up' to the point where we could have a weekend like this where we just enjoyed each other, did nothing, and didn't worry or stress about what we should be doing. Thank you all SO much!!"
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Upcoming Events


Sunday, October 5

Once each year Jill's House is open to the public. Even if you have toured the building before, bring a friend to introduce them to the miracle of Jill's House.

Learn more 

Monday, October 13
This year's premier golf event will be held at TPC Potomac Avenel Farm. Be inspired and have a great day of fun while helping families raising children with special needs.
Register now!

Sunday, October 26

Spaces are going fast! Register by August 1 to Join Team Jill's House and raise funds to support courageous families and their special children

Register today!


For a full listing of events, visit jillshouse.org/events.
For additional information, contact Teresa Lee at events@jillshouse.org or call 703.639.5670.
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Jill's House | 703-639-5660
PO Box 9104
McLean, VA 22102

CFC #22742 - United Way #8244