Norma, Debbie, Michele Goodman-James, and Mary A. celebrate the start of Orioles Opening Day.

Michele makes the ladies know they are important, loved, and respected,” explains Linda Ancin for why she nominated Michele Goodman-James, Family Living Director of our St. Stephen’s Church Road Home, for Advocate of the Month. “My sister, Mary, and the other ladies who live at her home care for each other— this is something they see modeled in Michele.”

For Linda, this love and respect means the world. “Mary first came to Bello Machre several years ago after living her whole life with our mom, who had passed away,” recalls Linda. “My sister always had relatives, friends, and neighbors who cared about her and looked out for her. I was afraid that she would no longer have that—because of Michele, she does. Michele always comes from a place of wanting to help.”

Linda shares a specific memory that stands out in her mind. “When Mary first moved in, it was around Christmas time and my mom had already purchased her a gift. When Mary saw the scarf our mother had gotten her, she began crying. Michele went to her and put the scarf on her saying, ‘Look at all that love from your mother! Whenever you put this scarf on it will be like a hug from your mother!’”

Linda notes that Michele is there for the ladies’ families too. “She always invites us for holidays and events and she keeps communication open.”

Events truly are important to the ladies who live in our St. Stephen’s Church Road home. Most recently, the ladies celebrated the Orioles opening day. The ladies all sported Orioles hats and t-shirts; the home was filled with Orioles décor; the air smelled of ballpark treats of hotdogs, pizza, and popcorn; the ladies shared who their all-time favorite Orioles players were (Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson) as they cheered an early Orioles lead.

“Michele wants the ladies to always feel like they are home,” notes Linda. “She wants to hear what they have to say and when she make a promise to them, she always carries through.”

“It’s a great compliment that a family member nominated me,” says Michele. “These ladies are family and to assist them to have an optimal level of independence is empowering both for them and for me.”