HARRIS' HEROES

Jill's House provides special needs kids with a place to laugh and play

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Whether they're playing instruments in the music room or shooting down a slide in the activity room, the children at Jill's House are able to laugh and play just like other kids.

Clay Munroe comes here for summer day-camp and occasional weekend sleep-overs.

He was just a few months old when developmental problems emerged.

“Went to a doctor and checked things out and it turned out, they found out after some testing that he had had a stroke in utero,” says Clay’s mother Vicky Monroe.

Caring for Clay is a round-the-clock job, so being able to take a break has been a lifesaver for his mom and dad. Monroe says Jill’s House was the first place Clay loved.

There's a playground, a computer room, 45 bedrooms and a very compassionate staff - so parents like Valerie Ofoma, whose son is autistic, don't have to worry.

“When I drop him off, I'm not worried if he's ok, if they're treating him right or anything like that. It's like, a relief," Ofoma says.

Jill's House was founded by Lon and Brenda Solomon, whose daughter Jill, was born with a seizure disorder.

They wanted other parents to be able to take a breather, knowing their children are in good hands.

“They need this rest, they need an opportunity to take care of themselves so they can continue to care for their children,” says Dana Hecht, a family support specialist.

Mother Donna Alston McCree agrees.

“I'm at peace when I drop her off here in the morning,” says Alston McCree. “I know she's safe and I know she's happy.”

For more information about the Vienna, Va. center, click here.

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