Hope Foundation 97 is a charity founded for the purpose of aiding Iranian families that have moved to the United States in the hopes of creating a better life for themselves. When government support fails to help these families, Hope Foundation 97 steps in. Their goals are as follows:
- To provide an emergency safety net for people who have fallen on hard times.
- To provide emergency food and shelter. To provide emergency medical and psychological services.
- To provide primary counseling and referral services. To provide people in need with the opportunity to gain primary skills for self-sufficiency.
Among their active board members is real estate developer Henry Shahery. Though Henry works with and donates to several different causes, Hope Foundation 97 is his favorite. This charity is close to Henry’s heart because Henry, himself, is an Iranian American. As he continues to build himself up, his first thought is always, “How can I give back to my community?” In the last several years, Henry has raised millions of dollars for this cause and has been called, “a power engine of raising donations.”
Henry’s greatest mission is education: whether in the traditional sense or through trade schooling, depending on the person’s interest and passions. He is a strong believer in the proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Henry commented, “People should learn in whatever area they like: as a plumber, an electrician, in the computer field, etc., so that one day they can become self-sufficient. If they learn something they choose to do, we are here to support their education.” This mission to educate has been a long-standing Shahery family tradition. The Shahery family has supported a foundation, called the Magbit Foundation, founded to fund education of in-need youth for decades. Henry’s father, Barok Shahery, was a board member of the Magbit for 40 years, Henry was a board member for 20 years, and now Henry has passed the baton to his daughter, Shanelle, who is a current board member of the Magbit Foundation.
While education is a big focus in Henry’s philanthropic endeavors, he certainly has not stopped there. His most recent act of giving back was raising $650,000 in only two weeks to help save the lives of two children with a rare disease who needed immediate operations. Even in his charitable acts, Shahery is aggressive and ambitious.