October 31, 2014
Since opening our doors in 2010, Jill's House has provided 403,326 hours of respite.

Do you love Amazon? Shop AmazonSmile (same great products, price and service) and 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to Jill's House! Sign up today.
Jill's House Announces Leadership Transition:
Changes for Jill's House as we enter our fifth year of serving families.

Under Cameron Doolittle's leadership, Jill's House has established a solid foundation for serving hundreds more families across the country.

Jill's House today announced that, after five years at the helm, its President and CEO, Cameron Doolittle, will resign in 2015, but will stay on as a member of the Board of Directors.

In addition, the Jill's House Board of Directors will add Robert G. Stuckey, Robert Buck, and Ron McKenzie to its ranks. Longtime board member Robert Vagley is concluding his term of Board service, as is co-founder Lon Solomon.


Under Doolittle's leadership, the ministry began its operations and grew to serve more than 500 families annually at six locations nationally. The staff grew from three to more than 100 and revenue grew from less than $2m to about $6m annually.

As a social entrepreneur, Doolittle was honored by the Praxis nonprofit accelerator program in 2014 and appeared in numerous media outlets. Under his leadership, Jill's House helped pioneer the concept of overnight respite and demonstrated its efficacy. Already having provided more than 400,000 hours of respite, no center in the world provides more overnight respite to families affected by intellectual disability than Jill's House.  

"Serving at Jill's House has been the privilege of a lifetime," said Doolittle. "God has done amazing things and it's been a tremendous gift to me that I've had the chance to have a front-row seat. I am grateful to the Board, donors, volunteers, staff, children, families, and especially our prayer warriors. God has heard and responded. Jill's House is a miracle. I am especially grateful to my wife Carolyn and our kids, who have sacrificed a lot to give me the bandwidth to pour myself into this great work." Read more.


Back to top.  


You eliminate isolation, guilt and depression: Helping the "silent heroes"-- typical siblings of children with special needs.

When Jill's House first opened its doors in 2010 to celebrate children with special needs and renew their families, we did not realize the huge impact respite would have on typical siblings.    


The "typically developing" brothers and sisters of the children we serve lead anything but typical lives. Out of sheer necessity, their parents pour attention, finances, worry and time on their children with special needs. As a result, the typical children--or "quiet heroes"--often feel neglected, confused, embarrassed and afraid.

For every child Jill's House serves, there are, on average, two typical siblings at home. These "shadow children" frequently sit quietly in the background, ignoring their own needs and desires. Many of them take on responsibilities as caretakers and have to grow up early. They can't invite friends over because their homes are so chaotic, and they can't go out as a family because their siblings can be so disruptive.


So they stay at home, alone. Many also feel significant guilt and shame for wishing things were different. Luckily, respite changes everything for children. For example, Taylor, 17, says the only reason he can go to college without feeling guilty is because of the rest his mom gets from Jill's House. Read more.   


As the year comes to a close, we humbly ask you to help the quiet heroes of the families Jill's House serves. Help give them a few hours or days of relief to just be kids. Please give today


Back to top.  


Tom and his wife, Glee, were there from the beginning, never giving up on the Jill's House dream. They have been faithful prayer warriors and financial supporters ever since. We are so blessed by their kind hearts.
Original member of Jill's House's Board of Directors shares how powerful prayer made Jill's House a reality.

Tom McMahon, a member of the McLean Bible Church Board of Elders and former Jill's House Board of Directors member, recently reflected on the early days of Jill's House. He remembers many blessings but also many roadblocks encountered during the early planning and building phase. "Many lives were going to be touched by Jill's House," shared Tom, "and we met spiritual resistance at every turn."
Tom and Glee's beautiful granddaughter, Jennifer, is now 33 and continues to bring joy to her family.
Tom has been a supporter of Jill's House from the very beginning. It started by joining in prayer with the other board members to seek a path for how Jill's House could come into existence. The first hurdle was getting the construction of Jill's House approved by the Virginia State Legislature. Until then, there had been no category for children's respite care. But through great leadership and God's blessings, Jill's House was eventually given the green light.


Tom says the board continued to encounter one disappointment after another, but the real breakthrough came when they realized Jill's House must be open to all children of all faiths and backgrounds. "One Saturday we were praying about it," said Tom. "We said we were doing this in the name of Jesus Christ, and it became so clear to us that Christ cares for everyone, especially these little ones and their parents. We are His hands, His feet and His voice. So we did what He told us to do, and from that moment on, funding and everything else came together." Read more. 


Charles Mann, former Redskin and LFLO Committee member, inspired participants with a message about faithfulness.
2014 Links for Little Ones sold out!

On Monday, October 13 more than 130 golfers came out for a fun day of golf at the 14th Annual Links for Little Ones (LFLO) Golf Tournament at the prestigious TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm golf course.

Chaired by Joe Livingood of Billy Casper Golf, the LFLO Committee worked hard to help raise more than $83,000 to support the families Jill's House serves. We are so grateful to committee members Fred Baerenz, Matt Bundy, Ed Burke, Woody Fitzhugh, Doug Henderson, Charles Mann and David Schwengel. 

Pat Work received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his moving testimony about serving our country and raising his son with special needs.
Pat Work received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his moving testimony about serving our country and raising his son with special needs. Watch his story.
Following a day of golf, the event concluded with a banquet and raffle. Pat and Mara Work, parents of Jill's House guest J.P., shared how balancing a marriage, commitment to the military and raising a child with special needs is accomplished through their son's regular visits to Jill's House.

The event would not have been possible without the players' participation, the many volunteers who gave their time to ensure the event ran smoothly, and our sponsors. Thank you to Ace sponsors AOG Wealth Management, ETS and Venture Insurance Programs. Read more.

Hundreds came through our doors to learn more about Jill's House. View all the Open House photos on Facebook.
Jill's House opens its doors to 700 people eager to learn more about relief through respite.

Every year during our annual Open House, the only time all year we open to the public, we are energized by the number of new people walking through our doors for the first time, eager to learn more about Jill's House. This year was no exception, with a record-breaking 700 visitors who toured our 42,000 square foot facility on October 5. Visitors met our families, visited pet therapy animals, signed up to be volunteers and experienced firsthand the joy and inspiration of Jill's House.


A new guest to Jill's House, So and so, shares a simple prayer about how he feels about Jill's House.
During his Open House visit, Alex shared a simple prayer about his first experience at Jill's House.

"This year was notably different than previous years' Open Houses," said Denise Daffron, vice president of Advancement at Jill's House. "We had a high number of prospective families raising children with special needs visit for the first time. They were in awe of what they saw and in disbelief that the dream of getting a break could actually be a reality for them. They were desperate. They were exhausted. They finally had hope."


The Jill's House staff witnessed story after story of families looking for relief during the Open House. A little boy named Alex (see video, right) visited Jill's House for the first time with his friend William, a regular guest. He was so excited to see a place designed just for him that he decided to say an impromptu prayer in our chapel. Read more.


Tom is a Jill's House dad, ambassador and helped design Jill's House when it was just a concept.
Faithful servant drew on his professional expertise and deep love for his daughter to make Jill's House a safe place for children with special needs.

Tom Zeberlein began serving Jill's House way before it was built, back when Lon and Brenda Solomon's dream to serve families like theirs was still just a great idea. The father of a daughter with an intellectual disability, Tom also has extensive professional experience in facilities management and design. So when it was time to begin the design phase of Jill's House, Tom was a perfect candidate to blend the intellectual knowledge he had about the intricacies in designing a facility like Jill's House with his love and understanding of children with special needs.

"I learned about plans for Jill's House when my daughter Emily attended ACCESS Ministries at McLean Bible Church," said Tom. "I was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute my ideas about security considerations in building Jill's House. It was important to keep uninvited people out but also to keep the children in, all while providing a sense of openness, freedom and an ability to move about the facility easily. Our committee took into consideration many factors, including the layout of the building, the sleeping areas for the children, nursing centers, therapy rooms, the gym, activities and the pool. We wanted to create a lodge-like atmosphere. But safety was my number one priority." Read more.


What Families Are Saying
"As always, keep up the important, amazing work! Our family had a particularly stressful week because our son went through a period of multiple seizures over multiple days so was very out of it. We were very concerned with leaving him there because the instinct is, of course, to cancel all of our other plans and keep him home, close with us, in this situation (which occurs only a few times per year). But he was insistent on wanting to attend his Jill's House weekend, and your staff urged us to leave him in their very capable hands, and the hands of your incredible nursing staff. So we did, although I was a nervous wreck about it. I called often and probably bugged the heck out of staff there, but they were so gracious and supportive and understanding about my concern. They responded immediately and provided immensely helpful feedback about how he was functioning, how much sleep he had gotten, what activities he had done, etc. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing, life-changing work. We are SO grateful to everyone at Jill's House for taking such good care of our son--and of us!!
Give to Jill's House at Work.
united way and cfc

Make a lasting difference in the lives of families raising children with special needs when you participate in your employer's Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), United Way (UW) or employee giving program. Your gift gives hundreds of families desperately needed rest and renewal through Jill's House.

There are three easy ways to give to Jill's House from your workplace. 


1. CFC #22742;

2. UW #8244; or

3. Your own company's employee giving campaign.

4. Check to see if your employer matches your gifts.


For more information, contact your employer or Claire Waldrop at or 703.639.5699.

Jill's House Needs Child Care Specialists!
In order to serve more families, we need more child care specialists! The child care specialist is the face of Jill's House to a group of children each weekend. The child care specialist will lead a group of 2-4 children through activities throughout Jill's House. One moment, you may be on the playground with your group; another moment, you may be singing in the music room or reading books. Child care specialists work on a full-time or part-time basis. Flexible weekday and weekend shifts are available. If you feel a particular call from God to work with children with special needs and to love them as Jesus does, we would love to talk with you. God is writing an amazing story at Jill's House; perhaps Jill's House is supposed to be the next chapter of YOUR story as well. Learn more and apply today! For more information e-mail or call 703.639.5660.
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube

Jill's House | 703-639-5660
PO Box 9104
McLean, VA 22102

CFC #22742 - United Way #8244