BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Bailey Martinez, Los Alamos Youth Activity Center Site Director, went live last week on social media with a tantalizing presentation called “Dipping Anything In Chocolate” for ACT families and members of the community. December 17 was National Chocolate Covered Anything Day and Martinez dipped cookies, pretzel sticks, Nutter Butters, Rice Krispie treats and several other delights in white and milk chocolate for the occasion.
You can see the videos on the Los Alamos Activity Center Facebook page or on the Youo Tube page at https://youtube.com/channel/UCrpbab_GTNr47IcUNGoF2zw. Weekly videos are posted on the You Tube channel.
Martinez also baked sugar cookies and gingerbread men and showed how to decorate them.
“We wanted this event to reach our Activity Center families as well as anyone else affiliated or interested in our program. We’re donating the items that we make to the staff at Betty Ehart And White Rock senior centers as a collaboration with them, and as a thank you to their staff for serving our community,” Martinez said.
Los Alamos Family Council operates the Activity Centers and their role has become increasingly important with the challenges COVID-19 has presented to them this year. The Activity Centers are a free after-school and summer program for students in grades 3-8.
Family Council executive director Jordan Redmond noted that while children attend school from home and online, they miss out on important socialization, making friends and playing with one another. Schools also provide a refuge for disadvantaged children who may face unstable or unhealthy environments at home. He said working parents have had to juggle home schooling with the demands of their career.
“Members of the community are facing food insecurity and evictions from housing. Rates of suicide, mental health issues and substance abuse across the country have increased at alarming rates since the onset of the pandemic. And as the only non-profit behavioral health agency in Los Alamos, LAFC has played a crucial role in supporting our community’s resilience in response to these and many other challenges the year 2020 presented.”
LAFC’s Counseling Center has served some 300 patients this year during more than 3,000 appointments.
The Counseling Center and Administrative Offices are closed on Dec. 24 and 25 and will open with a skeleton crew Dec. 28-31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Therapists working remotely may still have appointments during this time. The Youth Activity Centers are closed until further notice from Los Alamos County.
Family Council’s end-of-year fundraising campaign is still underway. To qualify for a charitable income tax deduction for the 2020 tax year, keep these important dates in mind:
- Checks sent via U.S. Postal Service to LAFC must be postmarked on or before Dec. 31
- Wire transfers of cash must be initiated no later than Dec. 28
- Credit cards gifts made online may be made until 5 p.m. Dec. 31
- Credit card gifts made by phone may be made until 2 p.m. Dec. 31
For more information, call Jordan Redmond, (505) 662-4160.