A year ago, ABC Action News interviewed Diane Edelglass at her Brandon home. She had one wish for her son for Christmas. She wanted little Dante to have a handicapped accessible swing, so that he could play outside with his two siblings.
Dante nearly drowned when he was just 1-year-old. That tragic accident caused brain damage, which left him bound to a wheelchair.
Through donations, Edelglass was able to get that swing for her son. Since we talked to her in December of 2016, she has been busy trying to change the lives of other families, hoping that what happened to her family, doesn’t happen to them.
She has dedicated much of her time to swim/water education for families in the community. Edelglass also takes collections for families in her community who are less fortunate. They may not have enough food to put on their table and she wants to make sure they do.
It was time for Edelglass to finally be the one who was taken care of.
Because of her constant work in the community, she has been awarded free mortgage for a year, thanks to the Maggi Gives Back initiative, based in Tampa Bay. It's an arm of the Gradient Gives Back Foundation.
Gradient relies on local business owners in each city to help them find their winners.
Here in Tampa Bay, that job falls to Bobby Maggi of Maggi Tax Advisory and Financial Group. The Maggi's fund the local awards given and they have been doing so for the last couple of years.
"We're looking for someone that we can help that wants a hand up and not a handout," said Maggi.
Maggi's son Chris also has a big role in choosing which family gets the award each year.
“We are trying to help families out there who have fallen on hard times,” said Chris Maggi. “And what we have done is provide a year of mortgage payments to those families.”
"She is really just an incredible person,” said Chris McPheron with Gradient. “She does so much more for the community. When she has every excuse to let life drag her down, she stays on top. And it’s really inspirational to see."
Edelglass said she couldn’t be more grateful.
"With a special needs child, every month you need new things. Whether it's vitamins, meds, special needs equipment, travel expenses, doctors and therapy," said Edelglass.
The Maggi's say it's something they want to continue to do in the community for years to come.
“If you know a family who has fallen on hard times, you an fill out an application and nominate a family,” said Chris Maggi.
If you want to nominate someone for this award, Maggi Gives Back .