Houston, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/17/2014 -- When it comes to providing overnight and weekend respite care to families of children with special needs, no one does it better than Jill’s House, Inc.. Though officially opened in 2010, the concept for Jill’s House started in 2003, when Lon Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church and father of three boys, and his wife welcomed baby Jill into their family. They had already been thinking about how their family dynamics would change, as had happened when their other children were born, but what they never expected is that Jill would be born with special needs, and the additional demands that would place on them.
Members of McLean Bible Church began to see firsthand the additional strain Lon and his family faced in caring for Jill, and were moved with compassion to help them and other families facing similar struggles. Their plan was simple but bold: to open a facility offering overnight and weekend respite care. Jill’s House opened four years ago to serve families in the Washington, DC area. Today, for every child attending, they have two more on the waiting list.
Cameron Doolittle, president and CEO of Jill’s House, explained that families with special needs children experience much higher rates of stress, divorce and suicide, and are less physically healthy than families with typical children. “The families never get a break. They can’t call family or friends in many cases or even a babysitter. If others are available, it is only for a few hours. Families need long breaks, at least overnight.” He continued: “Something magical happens when they go home and have a date, sleep on their own pillows, and don’t have to worry about monitoring seizures or a child slipping out of the house. They come back feeling refreshed—and for many, it is for the first time in years.”
When Jill’s House was looking for the right leader to give them a strong start, they approached Cameron Doolittle. He had a record of success in the corporate world as a business consultant and agreed, thinking he would stay about six months. However, he is still with them four years later. “I feel privileged to do the work we do and be a blessing to the families” he comments.
Doolittle knew the surest path to success with Jill’s House was to maintain a high level of excellence in all areas. This included not only in caring for the children, but also in all their communications with parents, donors and the public. They turned to DLA Editors & Proofers, a leading provider of editing and proofreading services, for their similar high standard of excellence. DLA Editors & Proofers, led by Editor in Chief David Lombardino, is unique in that they hire only editors with extensive experience and do not outsource any of their work to freelancers. “In the seven years I worked as an editor and proofreader for the U.N., I learned that the best editing and proofreading can be done only by a team of in-house professionals dedicated not simply to editing and proofreading, but to caring about how their work affects the clients on the other side of the documents. When any of us edits a document for Jill’s House, we get excited to be able to help, at least in a small way, in the great work they are doing.”
In addition to their full-time facilities, Jill’s House rents space for weekend camps in Virginia, California, Colorado and Texas and is looking to expand across the country. Current destinations they are exploring are in Seattle, Phoenix, Kansas City and Birmingham, with a vision to serve in 20 locations by 2020. Their ultimate dream is for every family with a special needs child to have access to respite for overnight and weekend care and a church to support them.
Families pay part of the cost of their children’s care, but funding from outside sources supplements it, with 100% of contributions going to the direct costs of child care. Corporate sponsorships and fundraisers like the annual black-tie gala, A Celebration of Special Children and the Team Jill’s House Marine Corps Marathon and 10K are a portion of the support. Individual donations, such as through their Sponsor-a?Child?for?a?Night program, are just as important, and many come from parents who do not have children with special needs.
About DLA Editors & Proofers
Since 2008, DLA Editors & Proofers has edited over 30 million words for more than 3,000 satisfied corporate clients, authors, academics, students, writers and a variety of professionals. Founded with the vision of providing in-house professional editing and proofreading services to an increasingly online community, and headquartered in Houston, TX, their clients include industry leaders like Carter’s, Foresee and Cabka. Learn more at http://www.dlaeditors.com.
About Jill’s House
Jill’s House, Inc., is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that is an integrated auxiliary of McLean Bible Church. Jill’s House was established in 2003 to serve children with special needs living in the Greater Washington, DC area by providing short-term overnight care, social activities and a range of therapeutic activities, providing the opportunity for respite for their families. It is estimated that over 40,000 children with special needs (developmental and/or physical disabilities often complicated by complex medical conditions) live in the Greater Washington, DC area. Visit www.jillshouse.org for more information and to learn how to volunteer time, donate funds or make an impact in the lives of children with special needs. Jill’s House is located at 9011 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, Va.