Cecilia Rosales Ph.D.

Giving from the heart

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The holiday season provides a great opportunity to reconnect with family and even rekindle friendships long neglected by the hustle and bustle of daily routines. 

Read a holiday story to a small child and you’ll be reminded by the sparkle in their eyes what the magic of the season is all about. It’s not about the presents, it’s about hope. Sometimes, though, we are too frazzled to notice and partake in it. 

If the thought of hosting a holiday feast or heading to crowded shopping centers in search of the bueno, bonito y barato present for everyone on your list makes your stress levels soar, Robrt Pela’s Health feature is a must-read. Did you know stress affects our body at the molecular level? Read on to find out what you can do to prevent and repair the invisible yet harmful damage caused by stress.

Although economists contend the local economy is picking up and that 2012 looks brighter, there are still many vulnerable groups in our communities who have been hard-hit by budget cuts, job loss or homelessness. We can all make a difference, however small, in our community. Check out our Socially Responsible Gift Guide and learn about what local nonprofit organizations are doing to support Arizonans in need. Instead of fighting with frenzied shoppers over bargain deals, consider making a gift that matters; a gift that counts in more ways than one. You can donate to a qualifying charitable organization and claim a tax credit of up to $200 if filing taxes as single or head of household or up to $400 for a married couple filing a joint return. Visit the Arizona Department of Revenue’s webpage (azdor.gov) to learn more about how the Charitable Tax Credit works.  

Diana Diaz, a local mother of two, knows about giving from the heart and about giving gifts that matter. Many families may even soon benefit from her efforts to provide a free and quality education for children with special needs. In this month’s cover story, Diana shares with us the story of her son Sammy and how his autism diagnosis changed her life and prompted her to do more to meet his academic and therapeutic needs. Along the way, she learned 1 in 100 children in Arizona are affected by autism and that many times, schools and parents alike have little or no training to help these children thrive. To address this, Diana, along with a dedicated group of individuals, is hard at work envisioning and planning what they hope will become the first charter school in Arizona focused on children with autism. Parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders or developmental disabilities will be excited to know the plan includes grades K-12, a “whole-family” approach, and even afterschool therapies for kids. Consider donating your expertise and enthusiasm to this project. 

On behalf of the LPM family, we wish you happy holidays.   

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