Andrea Weber is the dedicated mother of five children. Her third child, Madeline, has a genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by severe/profound mental retardation, developmental delay, seizure disorder and lack of speech. Madeline, who is now six years old, was diagnosed at one year of age.
While caring for all of her children and home schooling using a Christian-based curriculum, Mrs. Weber created the “Love An Angel Foundation.” Since residential housing for children like Madeline did not exist in her area, Mrs.Weber created this foundation to raise money to build “Halo Farms.” By holding a major fundraiser each year, she has raised more than $100,000. Over the past five years, Mrs. Weber has used the money to sponsor a lecture at a local children’s hospital to raise awareness of this rare genetic disorder, to help support a national Angelman foundation, and to contribute money towards special needs horseback riding. In addition, she has been able to set aside more than $75,000 to begin the building of “Halo Farms.” It is her vision that this property will offer safe/supervised housing for children/adolescents with special needs, as well as offer special needs horseback riding to residents and non-residents alike.
As often happens, the work that Mrs. Weber has done has helped her form connections with other families with children like Madeline. She has formed a support group for these families and monthly family get-togethers provide much needed acceptance and support for struggling young couples with special-needs children.
Mrs. Weber identified a community need and a solution and set about raising funds to meet the need. She has facilitated connection building as she continues to bring together families in crisis and offer them hope. The impact of her foundation is clearly the opportunity to provide safe housing for children with special needs. Reaching beyond the children’s safety, the impact of providing such housing extends to immediate and extended families as well as workplace and social circles.