By ElizaBeth Taylor
©Michael Paniccia, Dress Oscar de la Renta
A select number of notable figures in the world are using their skills and resources to guide us down the path of hope this year. One such distinguished individual is Jean Shafiroff.
Well-known in the American social circuit as a groundbreaking philanthropist, Jean has used her good fortune to better humankind. Her vast credits of charitable work include serving on the boards of the American Humane, Southampton Hospital Association, New York City Mission Society, French Heritage Society, Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, Global Strays, and Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation Honorary Board. Although Catholic, Jean served as a board member of the Jewish Board for 28 years and is now an Honorary Trustee. Jean is an Ambassador for the American Humane Society and their National Spokesperson for the Feeding the Hungry COVID-19 program. She is the Ambassador of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation. Jean is a New York Women’s Foundation Board Alumna who remains highly active with the Foundation and women’s issues.
©Michael Paniccia, Dress Oscar de la Renta
VOICES MUST BE HEARD
“In times like these, when the global pandemic has caused such uncertainty in the nonprofit world, it is our job to make sure that the voices of the growing portion of those in need are heard,” Jean states. “Action has to be taken, and it is our obligation to make sure that the suffering caused by the pandemic is greatly minimized.”
©Michael Paniccia, Dress Victor de Souza
©Nick Mele Photography, Dress Alice and Olivia
THE ART OF GIVING
Jean’s level of dedication makes her a once-in-a-generation humanitarian. Often, the philanthropist is asked for what is viewed as a simple favor by various charitable organizations, and it becomes an all-encompassing passion project. As a result of her dedication, Jean has been honored by many charities, including Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, New York City Mission Society, Southampton Animal Shelter, Surgeons of Hope, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, Youth Counselling League, the Jewish Board, Pet Philanthropy Circle, Animal Zone International, and the Hadassah.
Thought-provoking ideas on philanthropy’s business have created a position for Jean Shafiroff as the leading authority on the art of giving. Sought-after guidance as a volunteer advisor has driven Jean to become a popular television host, writer, and the author of the book, Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give.
Jean Shafiroff’s creative endeavors are conveyed as the host and producer of the television program Successful Philanthropy. Her show has established a radiating inspiration for viewers. Jean conducts riveting interviews with world leaders, international philanthropists, top leaders of charities, politicians, and celebrities alike. The show airs six times weekly through LTV studios in East Hampton, NY, as well as in New York City on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Spectrum Channels, Verizon/FiOS Channels, and RCN Channel. The success of the show has led to it also opening in additional markets in 2021. The show can also be viewed on Jean Shafiroff’s Successful Philanthropy YouTube channel.
With these significant accomplishments, it is easy to see why the bestowed title of First Lady of Philanthropy is incredibly merited. Jean’s generosity and extensive work as a volunteer fundraiser and leader in the philanthropic world is rooted in a life-long mission.
From humble beginnings, Jean was influenced by her music teacher father, as equally as the nuns at her Catholic school, to begin a life of good work. Encouraged to help others from her youth, a compelling motivation pushed Jean to do more for the world.
As a young woman, Jean was accepted at the competitive Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons to study physical therapy. Then the Long Island native proceeded to work as a physical therapist at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. Successively, Jean decided to resume her studies and attended the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. During this time, the TV host earned an MBA and then applied her innate business skills to start a fruitful finance career on Wall Street.
“I have had a good life, and with that comes a responsibility to give back,” says Jean. “Beyond the giving, though, comes hard work, advocacy, organizing, leading, and gathering support for a given cause.”
With an understanding that not everyone can do what she has personally accomplished, Jean has pushed her philanthropy mission. Now the humanitarian is expanding her passion from New York City and the Hamptons to Palm Beach and Southern Florida. But Jean’s philanthropy is global as she serves on many international charity boards.
Jean wants to encourage every individual to make a difference. Among the many causes championed are women’s rights, the underserved, health care, and animal welfare. For Jean, there is a very hands-on approach to volunteering, as she works hard to motivate and educate others to get involved in the philanthropic process.
Whether Jean is talking about this effort on her television program or other media platforms, it is a progressive movement that creates change for the better. After all, if one person can be encouraged, it is sometimes all that it takes to create a mighty chain reaction: From a small seed blooms a beautiful flower full of colorful motivation.
The words she speaks, and the actions accomplished provide meaningful guidance across the world. We are all in this together. We will all come to light from these dark days when humanitarians like her lead the way.
Visit Jean at jeanshafiroff.com. Follow her on Instagram @JeanShafiroff; Twitter @JeanShafiroff;