The Lionakis Foundation was established in 2009 as a charitable organization dedicated to philanthropy, giving back financial support and volunteerism to promote a better future for the communities in which we all live and work. The charitable organizations we give back to are held close to our employees’ hearts and are nominated and funded by them.  For the month of May, and on the Sacramento Region’s Big Day of Giving no less, the Lionakis Foundation gave back to AgingUP – a non-profit in Sacramento that is committed to providing youth that have been in foster care with support towards a successful transition out of foster care and into adulthood. On May 6th, the Lionakis Foundation hosted a virtual Lunch and Learn for AgingUp to learn more about their impactful mission, and the ways our employees can volunteer their time and efforts to help give back.

AgingUP Mission: "Empowering youth with experience in foster care to successfully transition into adulthood."

AgingUP shared with us that many youths that experience foster care often lack the emotional and educational supports necessary to grow into happy, healthy, successful adults. Because of these circumstances, they often face homelessness, physical and mental health problems, criminal involvement, low education attainment and other disadvantages. At the heart of AgingUP’s mission is providing foster youth with a mentor; someone that can help to empower and provide one-on-one guidance throughout this transition. These mentors volunteer their time, submit an application, and go through an interview and background check. Should they pass this initial screening, they must then go through training, and then once this is completed, they can begin to assist foster youth whom they are paired with.

Although the pandemic has made it difficult to be in-person and one-on-one, current mentors have found a way to continue to be there through virtual activities via Zoom and other activities have included virtual ice cream sundae socials, cooking classes and paint nights. In addition to being a mentor, AgingUP shared that there are other ways to give back – simply by re-posting and sharing their content on social media to spread the word about their mission, or donating through personal giving, connections to funders or in-kind donations.

At the conclusion of the Lunch and Learn program, the Lionakis Foundation presented AgingUP with a check for $5,000 to contribute towards their upcoming needs supporting foster youth. Thank you so much to co-founder April at AgingUP for taking the time to share with the Lionakis Foundation the importance and impact of your services throughout the greater Sacramento region!