US Family Retreats at Home for Special Needs Families During COVID-19

USA — When COVID-19 hit, Joni and Friends developed creative new ways to serve families across America living with disabilities. Through Family Retreat at Home they’re providing spiritual refreshment as they focus on God’s love and connect with other families facing similar challenges.

Tabitha Williams – Joni & Friends Bay Area Family Retreat at Home Director

Many of our families were heartbroken when they heard the news that we had to cancel our family retreats this summer. However they were understanding as well because was one of their primary concerns.

Liz Schwartz

When we found out that we would not be having our annual family retreat Paige was very disappointed. I don’t know that Paige cried out about but I sure did.

It’s tough not being able to see our friends. It’s something that we look forward to being with other moms that get it.

Tabitha Williams

The spiritual impact for families like Liz and Paige, it’s the rock for the rest of their year. It’s a place where they can come home and be themselves and let go and be who God created them to be.

Liz Schwartz

Since we’re not meeting in person Joni & Friends has put some things in place to keep us together. This virtual at home family retreat has been amazing seeing the faces of our friends even though it’s just on the computer screen just seeing their faces, seeing their smiles, it means so much.

Tabitha Williams

Family retreat at home is a place where families can come and just be themselves to play games together, to launch, to dance. To move and groove, to wiggle, to sing and rejoice and worship the Lord.

We’ve had many volunteers drop off family welcome packages to our local families in the region getting to say hello, take a selfie with them. And just showing them that Joni & Friends is here. We’re at their door waiting to support them where they can see a little bit of family retreat in person as well. In this season, in this environment doing nothing was not an option for us. And so being able to host family retreat at home has given us the opportunity to continue to serve these families.

Read more news on Disability, Disaster Relief and the COVID 19 Pandemic.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

About Joni and Friends

For 40 years, Joni and Friends has provided the hope of the Gospel and practical resources to people affected by disability around the globe. Ministry programs include Wheels for the World, Family Retreats, the Christian Institute on Disability, and church ministry training. Joni and Friends also delivers inspirational media such as the Joni and Friends radio program and podcasts. To find out more, please visit

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