Sweet Julia Grace Foundation Inc

Helping children dance in the rain

aka SJGF   |   Manasssas, VA   |  www.SweetJuliaGrace.org

Mission

To fill in the gaps, grant wishes, and meet the non-medical needs of children who are seriously ill, have special needs, or are in the midst of a medical crisis.

Ruling year info

2014

Founder & President

Mrs. Sara Jane Knight

Main address

9000 Mike Garcia Drive, #140

Manasssas, VA 20109 USA

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EIN

46-4766027

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We have faced quite a few challenges since our creation in 2014. One of the challenges faced by SJGF, has been to make sure SJGF doesn’t grow faster than our team can handle. Since SJGF was founded in 2014, our mission has been to ensure individualized, long-term support, that creates a sense of family and community for the families we serve. Balancing the feeling of a local, grass-roots, non-profit while serving as many people as possible is a constant and intentional balancing act. As a non-profit that has experienced exponential growth, SJGF has also faced the challenge of how to transition from the ‘creation’ of a non-profit to the ‘sustaining’ of a non-profit.  We are constantly addressing this problem by surrounding ourselves with guidance and support from mentors and valuable members in our community who are willing to help SJGF.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Raindancers

The children served through Sweet Julia Grace are lovingly given the name “Raindancers,” because just like Julia Grace, they are not waiting for the storms to pass before they “dance in the rain.” SJGF builds ramps, buys all-terrain wheelchairs, modifies homes to give more independence, sends children on DREAM trips, fulfills ‘bucket list’ wishes, arranges celebrity meet-and-greets, creates outdoor spaces for children to enjoy, reveals room makeovers, contributes therapy-related gifts, throws parties to celebrate birthdays and ‘end of chemo’... and so much more.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

SJGF knows the obstacles our Raindancers face each and every day. The iPad Program keeps children connected, inspired, and in touch. The gift allows Raindancers to remain connected with family and friends, provide entertainment while they undergo treatments or experience hospital stays, and offer educational assistance while they are homebound and unable to attend school with their peers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

PICU stands for Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and for many parents, the walls of the PICU can feel like they are closing in on them. Time seems to pass unnoticed, days seem to be gone and unaccounted for, and some parents don’t remember when they have last eaten. This is the life of a PICU parent. Our PICU ‘Take Care’ Program is a way for our community to do something SWEET for those who find themselves in this world.
Once a month, SJGF visits our local children’s hospital to deliver the PICU parents a catered lunch and all the necessities from home they never had time to pack ‒ leggings, razors, adult coloring books, face wipes, hair ties, snacks and more. We have truly thought of everything!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation aims to become the 'go-to' for families in our areas of service who have a chid, between the age of 0-18 who have special needs, are seriously ill or who are facing a medical crisis. We want to be able to grant wishes that bring joy and change lives, fill in gaps other services are unable to fill, and provide support with day-to-day needs for families going through the unimaginable with their child. Along with this mission, SJGF also strives; to provide emotional support and guidance to parents who are facing the stress of having a medically fragile child; to serve as a resource center for the family by connecting them to other forms of assistance available in the community; to provide support to families within their home on a regular basis. When they have no where else to turn for help, we want them to turn to SJGF, and when they reach out to SJGF for help, we want to be able to say 'yes'. In addition, SJGF strives to create a 'community within our community' for families who experience isolation and loneliness because of their child's diagnosis.

We are creating new programs for our families so that we can mobilize our volunteers and match them with the families who need their help on a regular basis, through the SJGF Family Care Program. This program will match vetted volunteers to families currently in crisis who need a hand at home. Along with this program we are also developing support groups for mothers of the children we serve, and also for the bereaved mothers who have lost a child we have served. We are also collecting valuable information that will serve as a resource center for our families. This wealth of information will be provided to our families so that they can learn about, and access other services in the community as needs arise. If there are services available that will benefit our families, we want to know about them, do the research and then provide the information in simple terms to our families who are already overwhelmed.
Having a child that is medically fragile or seriously ill can be very isolating, stressful and lonely for the entire family. Our families crave ‘community’ with other families who ‘get it’ so this past year we are proud to say we created two new annual traditions for our families to enjoy. SJGF partnered with local businesses to host both a Fall party and a Christmas celebration for over 75 families. Both events catered to all the children we have served, regardless of the severity of their needs. These events will now be annual traditions for every family that we serve, both old and new. Not only do these new family events create a sense of community, belonging, and togetherness, they also provide moments in time where kids can just be kids, and parents can set aside their worries and fears and just live in the present moment with their children. Our team puts so much thoughtfulness into every tiny detail, to make sure our families feel like the VIP’s that they are and to create memories that will last a lifetime. We plan on adding a summer party on to our family event schedule in 2020.

The support we receive from our community blows us away. When we have a need for a location, a resource, a partnership, or even a helping hand, our community shows up, and shows up big. With the fundraising efforts we have in place we will be able to say yes to families as needs and wishes arise. With the community support we have in place, partnership opportunities are increasing year after year. And as we mobilize the amazing group of volunteers that are committed to helping the families we serve, we will continue to be able to grow with the challenges we face, meet the needs that come our way, and fill in the gaps that other resources are unable or unwilling to help families with.

We have touched the lives of almost 150 families, and countless family members since our founding in 2014. Volunteerism in our community has increased as thousands of volunteer hours have been given to the community through The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation. We have developed unique programs and services for families going through the unthinkable with their child, that have never been offered in our area before. Our fundraising efforts not only help us raise money to further our mission, but also provide the area with events that bring the community together. What's next? There is no other SJGF, and we know how desperately families in crisis with their child need what we offer. So we hope to be able to continue to grow and expand so we can help more families.

Financials

Sweet Julia Grace Foundation Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Sweet Julia Grace Foundation Inc

Board of directors
as of 12/1/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sara Knight

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/01/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability