Bello Machre’s Aktion Club, a service club of adults with disabilities, raised over $500.00 to support Teresa Bartlinski, a six year old girl who is in need of a heart transplant.
The Aktion Club’s purpose is to provide people with disabilities an opportunity to play a more active role in their communities through leadership, development, and volunteer service. Stephanie Donegan, Aktion Club member, shared the story about her friend Teresa. The club members unanimously agreed to do a change drive and collect donations for the Bartlinksi family for medical expenses and other necessities for Teresa. The Aktion Club members collected change from friends, relatives, and co-workers over a three-month period raising a total of $543.83!
Teresa was born on December 25, 2006, in China with a very complex heart condition. In July 2010, Teresa was adopted by the Bartlinski family of Catonsville, Maryland. When she arrived in Maryland, she was very sick and the doctors feared she would not make it through an extensive surgery. With the love and prayers of her family and community, today Teresa is at the top of the heart transplant list. Ann Bartlinski, Teresa’s mother, comments, “The Aktion Club members are a very special group of people and we are so blessed to have their support and love. Our whole family was overwhelmed by their generosity and it was wonderful to see the special attention at the celebration given to our special angel.”
The check presentation celebration was held at Bello Machre’s campus in Glen Burnie, Maryland. The celebration, honoring Teresa and her family, was attended by over 30 club and family members. Evette Watson, Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator of Bello Machre, stated, “I’m so proud of our members and what they have done to help Teresa. All of the Aktion Club members are very community-minded philanthropic spirits.”
The Aktion Club of Marley was chartered in October 2009 and is the only service club for adults with disabilities dedicated to changing the world, one community at a time. Its mission is to provide opportunities to develop leadership skills, to serve the community, to be integrated into society, and to demonstrate the dignity and value of citizens with disabilities. Bello Machre volunteers advise and support the club in all of its community outreach efforts as well as providing the meeting space for its monthly gatherings. Members have performed a variety of community services, such as environmental projects, park beautification, feeding the homeless, nursing home visitations, and assisting Bello Machre with their projects.
The Aktion Club, affiliated with the Kiwanis Club of Severna Park, began with just eight members and has grown to its current membership of 23. The Kiwanis Club of Severna Park, founded in 1959, is a part of Kiwanis International.