February 27, 2015







Since opening our doors in 2010, Jill's House has provided 442,205 hours of respite. 


CFC #22742

United Way #8244

Walking Through a Door to Peace and Calm
Family Spotlight: Meet The Steuart Family FAMILIES


Pam (right) shares how Jill's House helps her stay strong for her husband and three boys.

We caught up with Pam Steuart on a Monday morning after her son Riley stayed at Jill's House for the weekend. Respite was fresh in her mind as she explained what it does for her and her family. She said, "Raising Riley has given me the tools I need to care for him. I've gathered the perfect tools for my parenting toolbox. But after a respite weekend, I feel like my tools have been repaired, cleaned and put back in order. I feel strong again. You can't imagine how incredible I feel when I drop Riley at Jill's House. Respite opens the world up for a few days. It's like walking through a door to peace and calm."


Riley Steuart is nine years old and has two older brothers. He has Down syndrome, autism and an apraxia of speech. Riley's challenges with sensory integration make it difficult for him to be around crowds of people and loud noises. Pam mentioned a time they took him to a water park. "He just stood screaming next to the spray fountain. Of course everyone stared, and we've learned to ignore that, but we try to avoid bringing him to places he won't like." This limits the types of activities and outings they can enjoy as a family.


Experience this beautiful video of the kids we serve called "Finger Prints of God".

Riley needs constant supervision because he has no sense of danger and occasionally runs away. Pam and her husband Scott talk about Riley's care like a relay race. "Riley is like the baton. We pass him back and forth, always careful not to drop him and never slowing down." Without Jill's House, they never would.


The Steuarts are reluctant to hire a babysitter for Riley because he can't talk. "He wouldn't be able to tell me if he was mistreated," said Pam. "And because we have no extended family close by, Riley's care was totally our responsibility until I heard about a mom who trusted Jill's House to care for her son who has severe seizures all the time." If this mom could trust Jill's House with her son, so could Pam.


Pam loves that respite allows her to sleep in, wake up slowly and sit still without having to do anything. It also gives Scott and her time together. They'll go to a restaurant, the movies or a museum. "We have fun together, and we know Riley is having the time of his life at Jill's House. It's great for everyone." Read more.


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What Families Are Saying
Thank you once again for an amazing weekend. It brings me to happy tears every time my son goes to Jill's House. He smiles all the way on the car ride there. And once he walks in, he yells, "BYE MOM!" and doesn't look back. For parents who lead hectic lives full of doctor appointments, therapy, diapers and g-tube feedings, a weekend to just take a DEEP BREATH is truly amazing. When he's at Jill's House I know my son is well taken care of; I can sleep in without feeling guilty or like I am neglecting some need. Thank you, bless you, thank you!!


A Prom Night to Remember

The Night to Shine prom was an overwhelming success. The celebration of a lifetime!

Cameras flashed and crowds cheered as the kids we serve, dressed to the nines, walked out of a limousine and across the red carpet. Boys were crowned king and girls were crowned queen, complete with tiara and sash. After a touch of makeup and a quick shoe shine, they put on corsages and donned boutonnieres. They were ready to light up the dance floor at the Jill's House Night to Shine prom.


The evening was designed to make each child feel like the guest of honor. Dana Hecht, the Director of Family Support, shared, "The goal of the prom is to celebrate the kids we serve and create an atmosphere where they feel accepted and loved."


Thank you to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) for covering the evening! Watch their story.
Thank you to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) for covering the evening! Watch their story.

Most kids brought a parent to prom as their date. A survey of the dance floor would not tell you who enjoyed prom more, the kids or their parents. One mom joyfully pushed her son's wheelchair across the dance floor. Her son can't talk, so we asked her if she thought he was enjoying himself. She said, "I think he is. I know I am." Another mom inched away from the center of the dance floor where her son was dancing with a large group of his peers. She was there if he needed her, but she was happy to see him socialize with confidence.


This event would not have been possible without our amazing volunteers. From setup to cleanup, they served with joy and compassion. One volunteer, as he looked around the room, said, "My cheeks are hurting, but I just can't stop smiling. This night is awesome!" Read more.


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The Big Band Dance to Benefit Jill's House on April 11

Dance to the sounds of the Radio King Orchestra and help support Jill's House.

Each year, the Dance raises much-needed revenue for Jill's House, enabling us to serve more children with special needs and provide relief and renewal to the extraordinary families who love them.


Guests will dance the night away to the big band sounds of Radio King Orchestra in the ballroom of a private home at 1770 Kirby Road in McLean, VA. The evening features hors d'oeuvres by Seasons 52, dance instruction from Flying Feet Enterprises, and an exceptional silent auction.


Come out this year and enjoy an evening full of fun and dancing in support of our children and families. Sign up today to be a sponsor or to purchase tickets!


For more information, visit or email


Jill's House White River Brings Renewal to Indiana Families

Keli (left) and her cousin Luke celebrated the launch of Jill's House White River.
As part of our mission to serve as many families as possible, Jill's House White River, located just outside Indianapolis, launched the weekend of February 6-8. The nine kids we served at camp enjoyed hiking, crafts, and s'mores; while their parents enjoyed time to rest and renew.

After the weekend, one mom said, "I just want to thank you all for the weekend you provided our family. It was amazing for several reasons. First, we were able to focus on our typical daughter without interruption. Second, we were able to sleep with both eyes closed and without listening for our daughter. We even slept in! Third, we didn't feel guilty because we knew she was being loved by people who WANTED to be with her. Wow, just wow. Our cup runneth over. We are so very blessed." This is the kind of healing and peace we want for all of our families.

Keli Miller, one of our Fellows who served as a childcare specialist for the weekend, was especially thrilled to see the launch. Her family lives in Indiana and her cousin, Luke, who has autism and cerebral palsy, attended the inaugural weekend. Keli said, "My heart was filled with so much joy to be a part of the launch in Indiana. Luke is the reason I got involved with the special needs community. Living and working so closely with his family is why the Jill's House mission means so much to me personally." Keli and Luke enjoyed a weekend together at camp and Luke's parents enjoyed their first experience of Jill's House respite. Read more.

Karin's Florist is proud to announce Jill's House is beneficiary of the "Karin's Gives Back" program in March.
Generous people creatively raise money for Jill's House, enabling us to provide life-breathing restoration to families raising children with special needs. Some ride in the 100-mile motorcycle ride. One family baked and sold over 1,200 special message cookies. Ten-year-old Lilly asked her friends and family to donate to Jill's House instead of giving her birthday presents. Each person gives our special kids a place to call their own, where they feel loved and accepted for who they are.

For the month of March, our friends at Karin's Florist in Vienna will donate 10% to Jill's House for every "Jill's Joy" arrangement purchased. Thank you Karin's Florist! Purchase this arrangement online or visit Karin's Florist.

For creative ideas or to set up your own FUNraising page, contact Claire Waldrop at


Mom and Daughter Team Up to Serve Together

Jill's House gives Anna (left) and her mom Elaine the chance to serve and care together.
Why do you serve at Jill's House?
Elaine: My parents lived with us for about seven years before they passed away in 2013. As they aged, their care became more and more demanding. We were blessed by their time with us, but there were days when we really needed a break. So the Jill's House mission made a lot of sense to us. I'm happy to help these families who care for their kids day-in and day-out probably for the rest of their lives.

Anna: I like serving at Jill's House because I want to be an occupational therapist. It's given me great hands-on experience working with kids with a wide range of special needs. Jill's House has strengthened my desire to work with this population.

What surprised you about volunteering at Jill's House?
Anna: Before serving at Jill's House, I understood that parents benefit from respite. But it wasn't until I started serving with the kids that I saw the friendships that the kids form at Jill's House. You can tell that the kids are excited to see each other. It's great to see their friendships grow.

Elaine: When I serve at Jill's House, I'm reminded that you can't underestimate these kids. The staff treats each child with a dignity that assumes they are able to do things for themselves. I see many parallels between serving these kids and serving the elderly. As we care for both groups, we need to give them the respect they deserve. 
Read more.

To learn more about serving at Jill's House, visit or email

Upcoming Events

The Big Band Dance to Benefit Jill's House


April 11, 2015


Mark your calendar to dance the night away to the big band sounds of Radio King Orchestra in the ballroom of a private home in McLean.

May 9, 2015

Join us at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center for an evening of inspiration at this black-tie event honoring the courageous families and children Jill's House serves.

The Ride for Jill's House



June 6, 2015


A 100-mile motorcycle ride through Northern Virginia raises funds to serve more families. Includes breakfast, lunch and a day of fun and inspiration.


For a complete listing of events, visit or contact Teresa Lee at
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Jill's House | 703-639-5660
PO Box 9104
McLean, VA 22102

CFC #22742 - United Way #8244