The Gift of Rest

The Gift of Rest

January 29  |  3 minute read

For parents raising children with special needs, the ability to have a break every now and then is critical for continuing the emotional and physical marathon of caregiving.

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 © 2018 Jill’s House

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A Place to Belong

A Place to Belong

January 29  |  3 minute read

See the impact of Jill’s House Family Retreat ministry in the lives of the families caring for kids with intellectual disabilities. Listen to their stories of struggle, belonging, and the importance of community.

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2019 Volunteer Dinner

2019 Volunteer Dinner

January 29  |  3 minute read

On April 8th, the Jill’s House community had an incredible time celebrating the volunteers that help make this house feel like a home. Volunteers, staff, family, and friends gathered for a special dinner in honor of the men and women working behind the scenes. As they enjoyed a delicious meal, guests heard from Brenda and her son Brady, a cherished Jill’s House family. Brenda shared her experiences, challenges, and triumphs of raising a son with intellectual disabilities, while Brady joyfully expressed some of his favorite times at Jill’s House. Jill’s House has 200 active volunteers at our Tysons location that step into a variety of roles. They serve as Group Buddies, Kitchen Helpers, Administrative Helpers, and Receptionists on the weekends and weekdays. Within these roles, volunteers help create a welcoming, friendly, and loving environment for our kids to feel comfortable and free to be themselves.
“Jill’s House simply would not exist without our volunteers and their faithful service here. We could not run our programs, host our events, or complete our work without their help, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their choice to partner with us in this important mission.”  – Mary Rachel Robbins, Volunteer Program Manager
Thank you to all our volunteers for the invaluable work you do for our kids and families. We also want to recognize the tremendous work of Mary Rachel, who has served Jill’s House faithfully for over 6 years. She has continuously gone above and beyond to provide the best possible care for every member of the Jill’s House community. Thank you for your service!

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Night of Worship

Night of Worship

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth
into joyous song and sing praises!”
– Psalm 98:4

On March 17th, fifty members of the local community gathered together for the first ever “Night of Worship” at Jill’s House. It was incredible to witness the mix of kids and their families, staff, and volunteers, as they filled the halls with open hearts and lively spirits. While kids screamed and moved about in time with the voices joining together, a joyful noise erupted toward the heavens. This evening truly embraced the importance of fellowship, scripture reading, and worship through song.  

It can be easy to overlook the significance of simple experiences, but for our families, they cherish the opportunity to worship with their kids, and not apart from them. Through this night of inclusive worship, we saw the beautiful example of how serving one another enables others to experience rest, renewal, and intimate relationships. 

A Jill’s House parent shared, 

“I felt at home worshiping with those who face similar situations as we do. It was lovely praising God with this community! The music was uplifting and encouraging. It was so nice not to have to worry about our daughter acting out. I usually have to go to our daughter’s Sunday school with her, so I don’t get to go to ‘adult’ worship that often. It was so nice to have the chance to do that with everyone tonight, and it just felt like I was home.”

As a community, Jill’s House is so thankful for any opportunity to gather in the Lord’s name and sing His praises together. Every person, regardless of age, gender, race, or disability were made to worship. 

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Housing Panel

Housing Panel

February 2019

On February 10th, Jill’s House hosted a panel discussion focused on the complex realities of housing for adults with intellectual disabilities. Over 100 parents listened in as the panel answered questions and provided guidance for housing options.

The panel included: Dana Hecht (Jill’s House VP of Family Support), two Jill’s House parents who have recently placed their adult children into group homes, and a Housing Specialist from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. This dynamic panel encouraged parents to plan realistic and healthy options for their children’s futures. 

“This was the largest ‘workshop’ we’ve ever held in terms of attendance, so I think that speaks to the incredible need for information and guidance as our parents face the future with their children.” – Dana Hecht

In Spring 2019, there will be another panel discussion hosted by Jill’s House! Join us as we explore the financial side of planning and budgeting for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and the care required throughout their lifetime. 

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Sensory Board Workshop

Sensory Board Workshop

January 29  |  3 minute read

“For me it’s a win, win. I am able to facilitate an enjoyable activity for the corporate team while providing some awareness about the needs of those with Autism to light and building stronger community connections.” – Mary Jennings

We are continuously humbled by the loving community surrounding Jill’s House. On February 12, Salamander Resort and Spa hosted a corporate retreat for Capital One employees. During this retreat, Mary Jennings, the Salamander’s artist-in-residence, led the group in creating sensory boards. Sensory boards help facilitate a person’s use of cognitive processes through interactive exploration, as they engage their senses. 

At the end of this workshop, Mary Jennings and Capital One generously donated these thoughtfully-crafted sensory boards to Jill’s House families. These boards will enable kids with intellectual disabilities to engage their senses, which is critical for brain development.

When using sensory boards, physical senses are engaged through different items with which they can interact. For example, Capital One designed their boards to incorporate doors, wheels, springs, mirrors, and more!

The detail and time that went into making these sensory boards reminds our kids and families that they are exceedingly known, loved, and valued. Thank you all for loving them so well! 

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 © 2018 Jill’s House