Providing Respite for Exhausted Families

AllOne Foundation has awarded a grant to Orchard Hill to provide critically needed respite services for children with special needs, as well as their parents/caregivers.  Respite services will be provided by professional staff at Orchard Hill throughout the year for individuals ages 4-21, at no cost to participating families. 

In the fall and spring months, caregivers can register their child for Respite Saturdays.  Participants will have the opportunity for increased independence, outdoor adventures and exercise, plus the opportunity to interact and build friendships with peers and positive adult role models.  From June-August, caregivers can register their child for 10 days of Day Respite over a 10 week period.  Individuals will benefit from increased activity, new challenges, and the opportunity to participate in activities alongside typically developing peers.  All through the year, caregivers will benefit from a reliable break while their child is in a trusted setting. 

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) an estimated 16.8 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S. provide support to a child with special needs under the age of 18.  The majority of these caregivers site managing stress, carving out personal time and exhaustion as their greatest challenges.  High costs, eligibility requirements and long waiting lists for extended services, aggravated by the ongoing pandemic, mean that these caregivers have very little opportunity for respite.

For 15 years, Orchard Hill has served campers with special needs in an inclusive setting and has worked diligently to earn the trust of agencies, parents and caregivers.  The funding will allow them to extend services for their existing participants and open access for additional participants.  One respite parent remarked, “the most wonderful impact of Respite Saturday was the opportunity for my son to have fun, to make friends and for me to hear my son talking.  To have a safe and welcoming place for my son to BE is wonderful and refreshing and true gift.” 

Contact Camp Orchard Hill at to inquire about respite services.

Photo: Mary Carroll Donahoe, Jim Payne, Director, Camp Orchard Hill, and John Cosgrove



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *