'We were exhausted'

"'We were exhausted'" Continued...

Issue: "Divided we stand," Dec. 1, 2012

Daniel is now 13. He has been out of the Majors’ home and in a group care home for about a year due to increasing aggression. Majors said she would have been willing to pay for Christian respite care if it had been available.

—Rachel Aldrich is a WORLD intern at Patrick Henry College

Overnight relief

Jill's House
Lee Love Photography
Jill's House

What can one church start? Jill’s House, in Vienna, Va., affiliated with McLean Bible Church, has its own specially designed building next to the church’s Tysons campus. Jill’s House has weeknight and weekend care programs, and most children come once a month or so. Its different atmosphere, decorated with a wilderness lodge theme, gives the kids a break from sterile hospital environments. 

Jill’s House is the brainchild of Brenda and Lon Solomon, who have a disabled daughter, Jill, now 20 but at the developmental level of a 1-year-old. While their daughter was growing up, a friend of the Solomons organized respite care for them, and they saw what a difference it made in their lives. On one of Lon’s trips to Israel he visited SHALVA, which provides overnight respite care for kids with special needs. The Solomons decided to start a similar ministry near their church. 

Jill’s House has over 1,000 volunteers and maintains a 4-to-1 ratio of kids to volunteers. That allows the program to offer a “rhythm of respite” where children can go to birthday parties, have sleepovers, and hang out with friends. The program has given parents the opportunity for the first time in years to go out on a date, take their typical children to the movies, or even sleep through the night. —R.A.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a World Journalism Institute graduate. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.


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