IIF Donor Spotlight: Sharbel Shamoon

Sharbel is a tireless sponsor, donor and volunteer for Team IIF! He offered this reflection on the foundation:

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Born and raised on the north side of Chicago, I graduated from Lane Tech Prep School with honors before earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I am private mortgage banker with Perl Mortgage, and have a decade of mortgage experience. Currently residing in River North and when not working or helping non-profits, I spend time exercising at the East Bank Club and spending time with my family, especially with my two nephews Christian & Jacob.

How did you first heard about IIF?

I first heard of the Israel Idonije Foundation when the Executive Director of the ASAP foundation Micaeh Johnson introduced me to IIF and Israel Idonjie. My team and I had just finished volunteering at an ASAP foundation event and Micaeh suggested to my group that we might be a great match with IIF because we are always looking to give back to new organizations that are helping inner city kids.

What event(s) have you volunteered at with IIF? Can you share a story from one of them?

  • Points of Light event (Target)

  • Shop with a Cop

  • Field Trip to Cinespace with IZZYz KIDz

  • Project Africa (donated to help build the school in Ghana)

I really enjoyed the field trip we had at Cinesapce. My good friend is one of the owners of Cinespace and he offered to give IIF a private tour of the studios. Izzy wanted to take the After School Program and show them how there are so many jobs in media other than being an actor or a producer. We also facilitated the donate 10-15 cameras from the neighboring business to our mortgage company to implement a new art program at the Kroc center.

I love how everyone came together and made the best out of the experience. From the cool name tags, to the new cameras that were donated, to the actors/staff that came out and talked to the kids…just a huge success.

There are a lot of great causes to support, why do you choose IIF?

Growing up in the City of Chicago, I was not exposed to opportunities or have mentors that taught me to visual a bigger and brighter future. IIF events/programs allows these young kids dream big and set the right goals.

What would you say to others to encourage them to support the foundation?

Come out as a guest to any of the IIF events and experience what the foundation is about. Once you experience the mission of the foundation through an event you will definitely want to be apart of the foundation. Like they say you have to see it to believe it.