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Culture

Loukoumi Finds Secret of Happiness

 

 

NEW YORK – Loukoumi in the Basket, the latest book about the lovable lamb that teaches children to make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others, is an Easter Book that highlights Loukoumi’s latest lessons about life.

Loukoumi’s creator, attorney Nick Katsoris, spoke to TNH and highlighted the new book, whose e-book version is narrated by Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell. It is also an e-book, and is available as a free download at loukoumi.com.

Every year Loukoumi gets an Easter Basket from the Easter Bunny and inside is a stuffed Easter bunny, but she is always disappointed that there isn’t a stuffed lamb instead.

“She starts to complain that ‘the Easter Bunny never gives me what I want,’” but this year she has an illuminating experience Katsoris said.

“Loukoumi falls through a hole in the back yard and slides into this magical world where everything is made of candy and she actually gets to meet the Easter Bunny, who teaches her “that the secret to happiness is to know it’s not all about ‘me’ – or about what you want, it’s about doing things for others.”

Asked how Loukoumi, the epitome of selflessness, had that selfish moment, Katsoris reminded that Loukoumi isn’t a saint – she’s just a kid.

“She didn’t realize at first that it is a selfish moment because with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny there is an expectation in kids that they will get what they want,” said Katsoris.

Loukoumi’s feelings reflect a wider crisis in the land.

Because many kids were also dissatisfied with their baskets, the Easter Bunny was not coming this year.

Loukoumi, however, saves the day and saves Easter. In the process she realizes, as the book relates: “Sometimes we see only what we want to see, but then we look beyond the story of me – the secret to happiness is doing things for others, looking out for friends, our sisters and our brothers…A little bit of kindness goes a long, long way and then our happiness is here to stay.”

Loukoumi learns that by doing things for others you feel good about yourself and when you make others happy the happiness you create flows back into your life.

All the proceeds from the book go into the Loukoumi Make a Difference Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that coordinates projects that teach children to follow Loukoumi’s lead. like “Make a Difference with Loukoumi Day” which rallies 20,000 kids each October to do a good deed on national Make a Difference Day, and the “Growing Up With Loukoumi Dream Day contest,” which grants kids the opportunity to spend the day in their dream careers.

The Foundation’s volunteers and friends of Loukoumi are excited about the start of the this year’s contest

Katsoris explained, “Kids just record a 30-second cell phone video –they just record themselves say ‘Hi, I’m — and when I grow up I want to be a —- because —–”

“it doesn’t have to be anything fancy but some kids are very creative. If they want to be dancers they’ll dance, and singers sing, and they are very endearing.”

The videos should be emailed to: loukoumi@aol.com and entries will be accepted through May 5.

On June 15 Katsoris will host the Foundation’s second annual fundraising dance party.

Loukoumi’s birthday will again be celebrated in the fall (she will be 11) and the party will be the occasion for awards to be given to schools and individuals who did great things in last fall’s Make A Difference Day projects where “kids give back to their communities in their own special ways.”

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