December 29, 2021
LendKey’s focus on the community isn’t limited to our business model built around working with community lenders. Over the years, LendKey’s commitment to community outreach has been engrained in our company culture. In both New York and Cincinnati, LendKey partners with local high schools to give students on the autism spectrum and with learning challenges the opportunity to come work as interns in the office and learn about technology.
LendKey’s service-first approach doesn’t stop with business—it also means treating people with kindness and living out one of our core values, helpful. This year, LendKey employees gave of their time and serve our communities and improve the lives of those around use through a variety of programs.
Mock Interviews with Cincinnati Children’s Home
For the second year, LendKey has partnered with the Cincinnati Children’s Home Heidt Center of Excellence to facilitate virtual mock interviews with students. The Heidt Center of Excellence is a specialized school that serves middle school and high school students on the spectrum as well as innovative transition and work readiness programs for young adults who have graduated high school. The mock interviews, which take place October – April every year, provide real world experience for students as they prepare to interview for employment opportunities in their communities.
Financial Literacy Programs
LendKey started a new partnership with the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC), an organization who empowers children and young adults to overcome obstacles and succeed in their education, career, and life. The CYC unites local businesses, volunteers, and school districts to create a network of support for vulnerable students. As a local business and partner, LendKey can engage with these students, help enhance their education, and fulfill our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment and closing the financial literacy gap.
A team from LendKey lead a financial management session with 25 students and 10 program leaders with CYC’s Summer Work Experience Opportunity (SWEO). The SWEO is a program that was created to provide work readiness to students. Students who are in this program have an opportunity for education on a variety of topics, such as financial literacy, to help them be successful after high school. Our employees covered topics like understanding pay statements, setting up a checking or savings account, budgeting and saving, and understanding credit.
Supporting the Adaptive Sports Foundation at NYC Marathon
Vince Passione, LendKey’s CEO and Founder continues to lead efforts towards providing opportunities to people with disabilities as chairman of the Adaptive Sports Foundation. Vince has spent 17 years working at the ASF as an adaptive snowboard instructor, the past 10 years as a board member, and most recently as the chair of the board of trustees. The ASF, together with 250 supportive volunteers, provides over 4,000 skiing, snowboarding, golfing, tennis, kayaking, biking, and skateboarding lessons to individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities.
In support of the Adaptive Sports Foundation, Vince ran the New York City Marathon on November 7, 2021. He crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 7 minutes and raised over $27,000 for the Adaptive Sports Foundation.
Adopt-a-Family for the Holidays
LendKey partnered with The Dragonfly Foundation for their 2021 Adopt-A-Family program. The Dragonfly Foundation supports patients and families impacted by pediatric cancer, recognizing that beyond physical healing families need emotion, financial, and physical support during and after illness.
Dragonfly’s Adopt-A-Family Program gives supporters the opportunity to provide Dragonfly patients and families with gifts and supplies they might not be able to afford or be able to purchase due to other significant hardship. LendKey was matched with a family that needed a little uplifting during the holiday season and our employees contributed gifts and financial donations to help make their holiday season special.
Virtual Volunteer Event
LendKey looked for unique ways to give back to the community while keeping our employees safe and engaged in a virtual environment. On December 7th, LendKey employees participated in a virtual volunteer event that featured six different activities designed to virtually provide joy and support to underserved communities.
The activities included:
• recording audio global news for youth with vision loss
• destigmatizing mental health issues to support youth of color
• sharing stories of comfort and joy with children fighting cancer
• learning sign language and recording a message of hope
• creating loving cards for families & kids at Ronald McDonald Housing quarters
• making learning kits on mental health topics
Commitment Remains Strong for 2022
LendKey’s commitment to celebrating differences and supporting inclusion internally and through community outreach is engrained in our company culture. We look forward to continuing these ongoing initiatives and building new community partnerships in the new year.