A Step Forward

Below is a note we recently received from one of the families we serve at our Chicago location. Her daughter just aged out of our program and spent her last weekend at Jill’s House a few weeks ago. It articulates many of our hopes for what families will experience at Jill’s House: “life-changing” rest for families and an environment for kids with disabilities where they are welcomed, embraced, loved, and celebrated just as they are.


This has been an amazing experience for us. I remember the first time we dropped [our daughter] of. I could almost not sleep that night, and we stayed only about ten minutes away. I waited for each update from you and your staff, and the pictures you sent of [her] smiling from ear to ear almost made me cry.

It took so long for us to give overnight camp a try, and your camp, and all of your loving staff, gave us the reassurance that we needed that not only could [she] handle being away from us, but she actually thrived. She LOVED every minute of it. It made us so proud of her, but it also made us proud of us because we were the ones that really had to push ourselves to try this. She had only ever stayed over at her grandparents’ houses. This was a huge step for us, and honestly, life-changing. I spent the entire drive home from picking [her] up from her last camp with you researching options for kids who are 18 or older. We know [she] needs opportunities like this in her life, and so do we. This gave me a profound understanding of how much [my husband] and I really do need that respite, and how ready [she] is for new opportunities and friendships.

[Our daughter] loved the card you all wrote her and it is in her dresser. She will be ecstatic with the photo album. And once we get a list of camps we have researched for older kids, I’d love to share it with you so you can pass it on to other parents. Your graduation ceremony was the icing on the cake, because instead of being sad, [she] felt proud of her accomplishment, and you all helped her celebrate that!

Thank you again for all that you have given our family!!
[A Jill’s House Mom]