ABOUT THE MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH LOUKOUMI FOUNDATION
Loukoumi, a fluffy little lamb, is the main character from the Loukoumi book series that wants to make the world a better place. The Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to teach children to follow Loukoumi’s lead and to make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others.
The Foundation educates children about career choices, helps them give back to their communities, and teaches them about Bullying awareness and prevention in conjunction with Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The Foundation also teaches children to be philanthropic by engaging them in programs and events where they do good deeds and raise funds for charities. In addition, the Foundation sponsors Dream Day, where it makes a child’s career dreams come true. Some of the children’s dreams the Foundation made come true include playing soccer with New York’s Red Bulls, cooking on television with celebrity chefs Rachael Ray and Cat Cora, sitting inside NASA’s mission control and watching the Phoenix spaceship land on Mars, acting with your favorite actress, spending a day at the NY Giants Training Camp, and singing on Broadway.
Formed with the consent of the New York State Department of Education, The Loukoumi Make a Difference Foundation, Inc. was inspired by the Make a Difference with Loukoumi annual project. Each year, Make a Difference with Loukoumi unites more than 50,000 children to make a difference through volunteer work or philanthropic activities.
In October 2014, the Loukoumi Make a Difference Foundation aired a nationally syndicated TV special—Make a Difference with Loukoumi—on ABC, Fox, and NBC affiliates. Hosted by Cat Cora, it stars Olympia Dukakis, Gloria Gaynor, and Constantine Maroulis. It also features John Aniston, Jennifer Aniston, Alexis Christoforous, Frank Dicopoulos, Olivia Holt, Laura Marano, Gilles Marini, Nancy O’Dell, Al Roker, Jake Short, Nia Vardalos, and Morgan Freeman. The show includes a segment on Make a Difference Day, based on the book Loukoumi’s Good Deeds. In the segment, children learn about good deeds other children have performed and were encouraged to come up with their own. The middle segment focuses on bullying prevention, based on the animated cartoon of Loukoumi and the Schoolyard Bully. The show's final segment is based on the book, Growing up with Loukoumi, and features 11-year-old Sophia Lotto living her Dream Day of being a Broadway Star with Tony Nominee Constantine Maroulis.
- • The National Ladies Philoptochos Society
In 2012 Nick began an ongoing collaboration with the National Philoptochos, a philanthropic organization with over 500 chapters nationwide. Nick was invited to speak at their conference in Phoenix, AZ in July 2012 and has developed a Literacy Awareness program where the Philoptochos Chapters are selling the Loukoumi books to its members. For each Loukoumi book sold through the Philoptochos, Nick has been making a donation to their philanthropic organization (in addition to the donation made to St. Jude) for various literacy awareness projects and is also donating one book per book sold to their local charity of choice.
- • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Introduced to St. Jude by actress Jennifer Aniston, Nick Katsoris has donated proceeds from the last 4 Loukoumi books in the series to St. Jude. They have also collaborated on Make A Difference with Loukoumi Day and Nick has visited the Hospital in Memphis, TN on two occasions. When Loukoumi received the 2014 USA Weekend National Make A Difference Award Nick Katsoris donated the $10,000 check to St. Jude.
- • KIWANIS International
Nick was the keynote speaker at the Kiwanis International Conference in Vancouver, Canada in June 2013. He has since become a member of Kiwanis has collaborated with many Kiwanis clubs on various events.
- • PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
Loukoumi And The Schoolyard Bully has recently been endorsed by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and it will be used in a new Bullying Awareness program in schools across the country. Following readings of the book kids will be asked to take Pacer’s Kids Against Bullying Pledge.
- • Just Keep Livin’ Foundation
Oscar winning actor Matthew McConnaughey’s Just Keep Livin’ Foundation will be collaborating with the Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation on 2015’s Make A Difference with Loukoumi Day.
- • Chefs for Humanity
Nick Katsoris serves on the Board of this anti-hunger charity formed by celebrity chef Cat Cora. Nick has donated part of the proceeds from Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook to Chefs for Humanity and plans are underway for a collaboration for 2015 Make A Difference Day.
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