FOR ANIMAL-RIGHTS ACTIVIST ELIZABETH SHAFIROFF, PHILANTHROPY IS ALL IN THE FAMILY. BY R. COURI HAY
For animal-rights activist Elizabeth Shafiroff, philanthropy is all in the family.
“The Southampton Animal Shelter is doing so many great things,” says Elizabeth Shafiroff, a junior chair of the organization’s Unconditional Love Gala, to be held July 8. “They take dogs from all over the country and Puerto Rico,” she explains. “They really go out of their way to find them a loving home.” Shafiroff is excited to put her estimable energy into this worthwhile benefit—and not just because her mother, prolific philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, will be an honoree. Elizabeth got her mom involved with the shelter in the first place. “I introduced her to the importance of helping not just people but animals,” she says.
In turn, she credits her mom with getting her excited about charitable causes as a child, when she was enlisted to help bake “thousands” of brownies for a school fundraiser.
More recently, Shafiroff cofounded Global Strays, a group providing aid to animalrescue workers in such countries as Nicaragua and Costa Rica. And as a photojournalist, she has made activism a career priority by focusing on repeat incarceration. “A lot of programs in New York are working to end this cycle of young people getting recycled back into the criminal justice system,” she says.
Encouraging other millennials’ involvement in social causes is also crucial. “Once you start thinking outside yourself,” Shafiroff says, “that emptiness that some people have inside kind of goes away. Life becomes a lot more whole and full.” The Unconditional Love Gala takes place Saturday, July 8, at a private estate in Southampton; visit southampton animalshelter.com for tickets.
Unconditional Love Gala junior chair Elizabeth Shafiroff cofounded Global Strays, which helps animal-rescue workers in countries like Costa Rica and Nicaragua.