Urgent Need: Jon Shirazi Says Giving Is Vital as Children’s Charities Reach Capacity

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As programs for kids and teens reach full capacity and face the dire need for increased funding, Jon Shirazi appeals for greater donations to kids’ charitable groups.

Demand for kids’ and teens’ programming is ever on the rise, according to a new study released by the Associated Press. The study, surveying Salvation Army programming in more than 80 cities across the nation, finds that more and more children and adolescents are taking advantage of the camps, preschools, after-school programs, and daycares offered in their cities. While enrollment soars, however, funding for these programs is on the decline, a dilemma that has drawn the attention of philanthropist Jon Shirazi.

“These new statistics tell a story that is impossible to miss,” Jon Shirazi says. “They make it clear that families are increasingly interested in kids’ programming, but as the demand increases, the support doesn’t. More than ever before, charities and non-profits need donations and fundraising, as many of them are operating at full capacity.”

Jon Shirazi himself is a passionate advocate for numerous Tampa-based children’s charities. He says the Associated Press story should compel more and more donors to give, as it makes it clear that the need is real.

The Salvation Army’s Commissioner William Roberts, meanwhile, says that the decline in funds and the increase in demand are two sides of the same coin. Parents hit hard by a tough economy or by unemployment need the programming of the Salvation Army more than ever, he says, but their ability to fund it is more and more limited. Roberts notes that parents working two jobs simply don’t have as much time to spend with their kids, but they also don’t have the resources necessary to make charitable donations.

But according to Jon Shirazi, that’s where the rest of us come in. “These children’s programs provide a vital service to our communities, serving our kids even as they allow parents to take on second jobs or work evening shifts as needed,” the philanthropist notes. “Those able to support programs like the Salvation Army are ultimately playing a vital role in raising well-balanced kids, in fighting poverty, and in giving needy families the options they need for getting back on track financially.”

Jon Shirazi confirms the conclusion of the AP article, which is that the most effective way to make a difference is to donate to local charities—be it a branch of the Salvation Army or another organization altogether. “It’s important to go to the places that are actually there, making a daily difference in our communities, and show them support,” Jon Shirazi says.


Jon Shirazi is a prominent business figure from the Tampa, Florida area, but he is best known for his history of philanthropic work. As an active member of the Gentleman’s Society, he is a vocal proponent and active fundraiser on behalf of numerous local and national charities.

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Michael McGarety
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