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FRIDAY FOCUS – Bello Machre

Did you know that 8,000 people are on the Developmental Disabilities Waiting List for services in Maryland? Bello Machre provides lifetime care for those with developmental disabilities in Maryland, helping over 100 children, adults and families in their own homes, 200 people in their 60 homes and providing continual support to the community. In this week’s Friday Focus, Bello Machre shares the touching story of Anna Marie’s and her parents journey with Bello Machre. 
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
Bello Machre – Loving Care for a Lifetime, providing a lifetime commitment of loving care for children and adults with developmental disabilities in Maryland.  We promise family members that we will always be there for their loved ones.
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
I wish that you could meet Anna Marie’s parents, Al and Suzanne – a mom and dad who chose to adopt an abandoned child with very special needs.  I know that your heart will be as touched as mine is by their inspiring journey.
Al and Suzanne had already adopted two children when the social worker called to tell them about a seven-month-old infant with complex and intensive medical needs. 
Despite their pediatrician urging don’t do this, Al and Suzanne made the decision to make Anna Marie part of their family. Suzanne explains, “Although we knew that challenges were ahead, we immediately fell in love with this beautiful baby girl.” They didn’t see Anna Marie’s blindness or profound physical and intellectual disabilities. They saw a baby who was in desperate need of a loving family and home.
Anna Marie has been blessed with this amazing family who nurtured and cared for her for over 33 years.  As you can imagine, even the most loving families may eventually need a helping hand.
As the years have gone by, Al and Suzanne have become worried about Anna Marie’s future. “As we got older, caring for Anna Marie became increasingly difficult,” Al reflects. “With my heart condition and multiple joint replacements, care giving was left to Suzanne, and it was wearing her down. Our health problems could suddenly and catastrophically threaten our ability to care for Anna Marie.
We had faith that we would find the right place. After we visited Bello Machre, we knew in our hearts that we found the special home where Anna Marie would be loved and cared for - both now and after we’re gone.”  
Anna Marie now lives in one of Bello Machre’s fully wheelchair-accessible homes. She receives around-the-clock loving care because of her extremely painful and crippling osteoporosis. Al and Suzanne are still very involved in her life and are important members of the Bello Machre family. 
For every Anna Marie, there are hundreds more people in need of our help. I want us to be able to say yes – yes to parents who are terrified about the future.  I want to say yes – there is a home for your loved one at Bello Machre today, tomorrow and always.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to love and be loved – that’s what Bello Machre strives for each and every day.  We are an amazing organization in need of volunteers, donations and funding.  More importantly, we need your help to spread the word.  We invite you to be a part of the Bello Machre family!
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
Bello Machre has an Annual Golf Tournament, details to come. As well as join us for Every Step Counts on June 9, 2018 at the Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland. This Walk/Bike 5k has activities for everyone and is a wonderful way to show your support.
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
Again, we are a great organization, trying to make a difference in the community. We need volunteers, funding/donations and of course community awareness. If interested in getting involved visit https://bellomachre.org/you-can-help/ for details.