September 2018
Xander builds first relationships
with help of Villa Autism Center
Not having a way to communicate frustrated Xander. Frustration turned into outbursts that usually ended with injury to himself or others. His parents Eric and Francis were constantly covered in cuts and bruises.

"We used to measure how good a day was based on our number of injuries, or whether or not we sprained anything," said Eric.

School presented its own challenges. Eric and Francis credit Xander's public school for using every tool at their disposal to create an environment where he could thrive, but the incidents continued to escalate. Xander was sent home early each day and lost the benefit of a full school day where he could develop with his peers. When private placement was recommended, Eric and Francis chose to enroll him in the Villa's Center for Autism. They have been amazed by the changes in Xander since then.

"His quality of life has improved in every way. He is extremely fond of the teachers. They let Xander teach them how he wants to learn and interact with the world, and they turned that into a game plan to help him build skills," said Francis.

"Xander is still nonverbal, but now he is able to express himself," said Eric. "He has started forming relationships with classmates. He shares toys, he laughs... for the first time we see him building bridges with others."

Xander is continuing to grow in our Center for Autism as he learns to be more independent and develops new ways to communicate. Eric and Francis believe his future is brighter than ever.
Villa team engages in Trauma Informed Care training
Trauma Informed Care training
In preparation for the new school year, Dr. Allison Samson-Jackson led a dynamic training in Trauma Informed Care for our team of nearly 300 employees. Trauma Informed Care is based in the research of how trauma affects the human brain , and how the mind and body are connected.

The Villa's Director of Community-Based Services, Jamie Knight, said Dr. Jackson, "reminded us as professionals that we must respond to the need being expressed, rather than the problem behavior. This lens is not only strength-based and person-centered, but highlights our clients' resilience, capacity to solve problems, and ability to engage in post-traumatic growth following adverse childhood experiences."

Dr. Jackson has focused her career on understanding trauma and how people bounce back from adversity. The training she conducted builds on our commitment to using modern best practices in the fields of mental health, education, developmental disabilities and housing. Many thanks to the Jenkins Foundation for funding the training, and partnership in strengthening communities.
How Intensive In-Home Services transformed Mitchell's future
Mitchell* had already lost hope his life would get better when he first came to the Villa.

He was referred to our Intensive In-Home Services (IIHS) while on probation for several charges, including drug use, stealing medications and circulating counterfeit money. He made it known that he abhorred getting services, and initially refused to interact with our clinicians. Mitchell's grandmother, also his legal guardian, feared losing him to a gang and made it her mission to work with him and our clinicians every step of the way.

His grandmother says the patience and compassion of the Villa's clinical team encouraged Mitchell to open up and problem solve. He felt validated about the aspects of his life he couldn't control, and started focusing on what he could change. In time, Mitchell stopped self-medicating, got a job, and committed to finishing high school. He is no longer on supervised probation.

Mitchell is happy to be making progress. With support from IIHS, he is now shaping his life to be successful--something he once believed couldn't happen.

IIHS works with families to develop an effective, positive behavioral management system that stops destructive behaviors and keeps families intact. Our clinicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The program served 115 individuals last year.

*Name changed to protect privacy
Villa Foundation Board Chair Dave Redmond
to receive Volunteer Impact Award
Dave Redmond
Foundation Board Chair Dave Redmond, who has volunteered with the Villa for more than 30 years, has been selected by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for the 2018 Volunteer Impact Award! Dave will be honored on National Philanthropy Day in November.

Over the years, Dave has helped raise more than $3 million for the Villa's developmental disabilities services through our annual golf tournament, chaired the Villa's first-ever capital campaign that raised $10.7 million for campus infrastructure improvements, introduced countless friends to our programs, and forged new partnerships. We're grateful to have Dave as part of our Villa family, and for his relentless contributions to the Villa and our community.

Congratulations, Dave!
Limited time! 10% gift match through Birdies for Charity
Your donation to St. Joseph's Villa can help even more children and families when you give through Birdies for Charity!

Birdies for Charity is part of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, October 19-21 at the Country Club of Virginia. The program gives area charities like the Villa the opportunity to generate contributions through flat donations or donations based on the number of birdies made by participating PGA Tour Champions.

In just a few easy steps, the PGA Tour will add 10% to your donation:

  1. Go to the Birdies for Charity website.
  2. Click the Donate Now button.
  3. Choose to make a one-time fixed donation or score-based donation.
  4. Choose St. Joseph's Villa as your charity, and click Donate.

Your gift to the Villa will help change more than 3,000 lives this year. Thank you!
We never stop believing in children and their families.

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