DECEMBER 2018 | ISSUE 136
Giving Back with Sweet Treats

"Good job! High 5! You're a rockstar!" If there's one thing we can't get enough in our work with kids, it's celebrating accomplishments.  But that's just the beginning.  What we love most is seeing our kids grow and become part of their community. Recently, an AZA Mom reached out to us about her son, Soren, and this one just has to be shared. So with their permission and straight from the proud mother herself, here's their family story: 
 
"Soren has always been a foodie and he loves to look on Pinterest for recipes. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that he was drawn to baking since all measurements must be exact for a dessert to turn out right; in that respect, Soren's autism is a great advantage.  

He asked for a Harry Potter cookbook (another of his obsessions) for his thirteenth birthday and was baking two or three recipes a day from its pages. In order to channel his constant baking into something more productive, I suggested that Soren hire himself out to friends and neighbors.  He would bake cookies or cake and then I would photograph them and post them to social media with the prices included.  Friends began commenting with their requests and soon Soren was very busy building up his own little cottage industry. 

After completing his first high volume baking job, a wedding reception with three hundred cookies, Soren and I talked about the importance of giving back since so many had been kind enough to request his baked goods to support him.  I encouraged him to donate ten percent of all his sales to AZA United, knowing that people would be happy to know their money was going to a great cause. Soren agreed that it would be a good idea to give back to an organization that had been so helpful to him, so I promised that I would match whatever amount he raised.

Throughout the year, as Soren baked and I posted on social media, we kept a running tally of all that he was raising for AZA and kept him accountable to his customers.  On Giving Tuesday of this year, I posted on Facebook and Instagram to let everyone know that Soren had raised $137 for AZA United with all his bake sales since January 1st.  I was not only proud of him for raising a substantial amount for charity, but I was also happy to watch his work ethic grow and see his time management skills improve.  Baking has been a real blessing for Soren and has given him more purpose and direction in his life."

Soren has not only learned useful skills out of something he is passionate about, but his family is also teaching him kindness by giving back to the community, and that is just wonderful! Thank you to Soren and his family for the generous donation! We greatly appreciate your support and can't wait to try some of your sweet treats :-)
Direct Your Tax Credit to Help Us Expand Our Reach

Give the gift of hope! When you give to AZA United, you provide direct support to kids and families affected by autism. 87 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to programs for kids and families, and all funds stay locally in Arizona.  

Click here to view our 2018 Annual Report to learn about the impact we have made with your help in the community.
Arizona allows you to direct some of your tax dollars to charities you support, like AZA United. The Charitable Organization Tax Credit can be combined with other tax credits, such as the private and public/charter school and foster care tax credits. You don't have to pick and choose - you can claim them all. See this short video to learn more about the tax credit.
Arizona donors can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples. Donations to AZA United are also tax-deductible on qualifying federal returns.
This holiday season, your donation can go even further as we look to expand and open our Big New Center in the East Valley to help more families in need.  Help us grow with our families!
To donate, visit AZAunited.org/donate. Thanks for your support!

Work Somewhere Awesome

Arizona Autism United is currently hiring BCBAs and RBTs! We understand the gratification that comes from a job that changes lives, but we also believe in rewarding the awesomeness of our employees, which is why we offer some of the best benefits in our field:
  • Competitive pay with guaranteed raises every 6 months
     
  • Career advancement opportunities - new East Valley Center opening soon!
     
  • Great benefits
    • Health Insurance plans to fit every need
    • Employer-paid life insurance
    • Short-term and long-term disability insurance
    • Paid maternity and paternity leave
    • Paid Time Off (PTO), paid sick time and 12 recognized holidays
    • Paid training and certification opportunities
    • And much more!

Apply now at https://azaunited.org/jobs-careers

 

Announcements

The office of AZA United will be closed on Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25th. 

The office will also be closed on Monday, December 31st and Tuesday, January 1st. 

Happy Holidays!
 


Upcoming Events

Please be advised that there will be no Sibshops during the month of January. Sibshops will resume in February of 2019.

Stay tuned for more details! 
Link of the Month

The Kent State basketball team in Kent, Ohio has recruited Kalin Bennett. Bennett is diagnosed with autism and became the first student athlete with autism to sign a national letter of intent to play a team sport at the NCAA Division I level. Congratulations Kalin!

Read more about Kalin here

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Arizona Autism United | info@azaunited.org | 602.773.5773 | azaunited.org