June 30, 2015








Since opening our doors in 2010,

Jill's House has provided 495,603

hours of respite.


Only 4,397 hours to 500,000!


A Father's Love Stretches East to WestFamilyBACKTOTOP
Family Spotlight: Meet the Harms Family
Derek and his family are grateful for his overnight stays at Jill's House.

When Greg and Dawn look at their son Derek, they see an empathetic and inquisitive eleven-year-old who loves to help. They see a gentle comforter and courageous explorer.


But the rest of the world is more likely to describe Derek according to his disability. They would say he has a rare condition called Baraitser-Winter syndrome, an intellectual disability, a developmental delay, a seizure disorder, a visual and hearing impairment, and a speech and learning disorder. These words may describe Derek but they come nowhere close to defining who he is.


Derek liked "driving" the police car at the 7th Annual Ride for Jill's House.

Greg explains, "If you have never been close to a person with special needs, it can be hard to understand how much good there is to outweigh any bad. Being Derek's dad has taught me the many positive things about it."


For example, Derek is a helper. One of his favorite things to do is collect trash around the house and bring it outside to the bin. Then he'll grab a rake and attempt to clear the lawn. "He likes to mimic the garbage men and gardeners he sees around town--anybody and everybody who's working," says Greg.

Even though life would be easier and potentially more fulfilling for Derek if he were typical, Greg is grateful to know Derek as he is. "I don't want him to be different," shared Greg. "He's so lovable the way he is, and I wouldn't change that." Read more.

To sponsor a child's overnight stay at Jill's House, email danielle.whitty@jillshouse.org or visit jillshouse.org/sponsor.
What Families Are Saying
My daughter loves Jill's House. We are so grateful she has the opportunity to go. The staff are amazing--clearly able to handle anything and not to make a big deal out of issues or challenges that arise. I was so impressed at how thoughtfully everything was done to make the experience as seamless as possible. I'm sure Indie is already looking forward to her next visit. Thank you again.
Welcome to Our Fifth Class of Fellows
Meet our Jill's House 2015-2016 Class of Fellows! We're thrilled to welcome them to the Jill's House team.

Every year, through a selective application process, God brings us a group of recent college graduates to serve at Jill's House through our Fellowship program. Our fellows work full time as childcare specialists and live together in apartments generously donated and furnished by supporters of Jill's House. During their year of service with us, they grow professionally, spiritually and personally.


With much prayer and discernment, we selected these women to serve with our team. We are grateful for them and look forward to watching them grow this year. In true millennial form, they all shared, in 160 characters or less, what they are most excited to experience this year.

  • Kristen Phillips from Azusa Pacific University: To meet the children where they are and create space for them to grow. Learning, being surprised and glorifying God!
  • Carly Castaneda from Tarleton State University-Stephenville: To know the children and see Jesus' love transform their lives. And to see the way respite provides greater hope for their parents.
  • Haylee Stump from Liberty University: To experience the unique disabilities represented at JH and get to know the kids. Also excited to experience this with the other fellows! Read more.
To learn more about the Fellowship program, visit jillshouse.org/fellows or email andrea.perdomo@jillshouse.org.


JHWA Volunteer Team Provides Back-to-Back Care

Thanks Fellowship Community Church for serving our families in Virginia and Indiana.

We are grateful for the many Jill's House Weekend Adventure volunteer teams that have served since we launched the program in 2013. After serving with us the first time, many teams decide to serve again. We love seeing repeat teams and are so grateful for the time and energy they spend serving our children and families.


Last month, the youth group at Fellowship Community Church in New Jersey served with us at Jill's House Blue Ridge in Virginia. They had a great time and expressed interest in serving again sometime in the future. The following week, our Weekend Adventure staff was trying to find a volunteer team to serve at our newest location in Indiana. So they prayed. And they sent a letter to our Prayer Warriors asking them to ask God to bring them a team willing to serve in Indiana. Read more.

For more information or to view a list of available weekends, visit jillshouse.org/weekendadventures or email gary.filson@jillshouse.org.


Citygate Films Receives Award for The Gift of Rest

This award-winning short film by Citygate Gate explains what Jill's House rest means for the McNeil family.
Citygate Films recently received highest honors from the Telly Awards for their powerful film explaining the value of rest through the eyes of a Jill's House family.

This month, the judges at the 36th Annual Telly Awards gave Citygate Films highest honors by giving them the Silver Award in Branded Content Video for their short film about the McNeil family, The Gift of Rest.


The film tells the story of the McNeil family. Parents Matt and Shannon McNeil describe what life is like to raise their children, Waverly and Oliver, who both have San Filippo syndrome, a rare regressive disorder. Children with San Filippo typically live to ages 12-18. In the video, Matt and Shannon share how Jill's House respite keeps them strong enough to enjoy everyday they have with their children.


The Telly Awards was founded in 1978 to honor excellence in local, regional and cable TV commercials. Non-broadcast video and TV program categories were soon added, and today, the Telly is one of the most sought-after awards by industry leaders, from large international firms to local production companies and ad agencies. Congratulations Citygate Films! Thank you for sharing the Jill's House story through the eyes of this amazing family.


Check out The Gift of RestFilm experts agree it's worth your time.

Out of his wheelchair and on a motorcycle, this Jill's House guest could not stop smiling and neither could we.

There were 39 motorcyclists at the first annual Ride for Jill's House in 2009, and the event raised over $10,000. This year on Saturday, June 6, 306 motorcycle riders and passengers made the 100-mile trek through northern Virginia from Manassas to Jill's House and raised over $100,000 for special families. Congratulations to all the riders and those who gave generously to support this year's Ride!


But for Joe Livingood, chairman of the Ride Committee, the highlight of the event was not the number of riders or the amount of money raised. Joe most enjoyed connecting the riders who participated with the children and families of Jill's House who joined the post-ride BBQ lunch.


Several riders allowed the children to sit on their motorcycles, rev the engines and feel what it's like to ride a motorcycle. Several children, with permission from the police units supporting the event, got to sit inside a patrol car and play with the lights and sirens. "You could tell by the expressions on their faces that those kids will never forget that experience," said Joe Livingood. "Watching the children and families interact with our riders pulls everything together." In those moments everyone connects in a personal way to this fundraiser.


Every year, the Ride is sponsored in honor of Steve Schirmann by ON HIS ROAD Motorcycle Ministry, an outreach ministry created for those who have a passion for motorcycling and for Christ. The event was a success thanks to the efforts of Ride Committee Chair Joe Livingood, senior vice president at Billy Casper Golf, and to committee members Mike Cauldwell, Bud Downey, Buzz Hefti, Jim Jensen, Harold "Pick" Pickering, Butch Sevila and Thomas Zedan. Thanks also to our sponsorsIf you missed this year's Ride or want to re-live the moments, check out the video and photos of the event.

For a complete list of upcoming events, visit jillshouse.org/events or email events@jillshouse.org.


Volunteer Spotlight: Anita Naylor

Long-time volunteer Anita Naylor explains the joy of connecting with a child with special needs.

Whether mopping the kitchen or singing in chapel, Anita Naylor serves with a smile on her face. A long-time member of McLean Bible Church, Anita has served our families as a buddy volunteer and chapel leader since 2011. Read this short interview and discover why she loves serving at Jill's House.


1. Why do you serve at Jill's House?

I have wanted to work with kids with special needs since 1970, when I was a substitute special education teacher at Franconia Elementary School. Several years later, I worked at a state-owned training center in Northern Virginia. This was before the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990 so the facility was cold and sterile. It broke my heart. During those years I envisioned a place like Jill's House--a warm, beautiful place for children to have fun and be inspired.


2. What has serving at Jill's House taught you?

Jill's House has taught my family and me so much about the disability community. It's a place that prioritizes compassionate service, which is tough to find in our affluent culture. It's a place that models the truth that it is better to be last than first. Read more.

To learn more about serving at Jill's House, visit jillshouse.org/serve or email maryrachel.robbins@jillshouse.org.

Open Hands and Full Hearts
Thanks to all our generous supporters who celebrate special children and renew their families.

Jill's house is funded by the gracious support of people. Thank you to each person who sacrificially gives from his or her heart. This month we have a short note from one of our faithful Jill's House donors. We are grateful for their support.


"My wife and I grew up in Northern Virginia and moved to Manassas sometime after we got married. We heard about Jill's House when we started attending McLean Bible Church in Loudoun County. We don't have children of our own, but we have a soft spot for children with special needs.


"As we've supported Jill's House, I feel the Jill's House kids have become our kids in some small way. Whenever Jill's House sends pictures of the children they serve, I hang them up in my cubicle at work. Sometimes co-workers ask if the children are mine, and I always say 'Yes!' Then, I'll tell them about Jill's House. These interactions often lead to great conversations.


"I used to drive racecars, and one summer I brought my racecar to Jill's House. It was a joy to see each child's excitement as he or she sat behind the wheel. I'm not usually able to visit or volunteer at Jill's House, but it's my privilege to give from what God has given me. My wife and I enjoy supporting Jill's House, and it fills our hearts with joy to know we can help make a difference in special lives."


--A gracious Jill's House donor

To give to Jill's House, visit jillshouse.org/donate or email danielle.whitty@jillshouse.org.

Upcoming Events

October 18, 2015October 19, 2015May 14, 2016
Tour the facility, meet our families and staff, and see firsthand the impact that Jill's House is making on families raising children with special needs.
Hit the links with Jill's House at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

Mark your calendars for the 2016 Celebration of Special Children, An Evening of Inspiration to Benefit Jill's House.
For a complete list of events, visit jillshouse.org/events or
contact Denise Daffron at events@jillshouse.org.
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Jill's House | 703-639-5660
9011 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182

CFC #22742 - United Way #8244