Skip to Content

Shining a Light for Those In Need – Shaheen Nouri Spotlight

August 14, 2020

What appears to be floating on top of a glass table, sits a red fez cap marked with a distinct symbol. It’s the mark of a fraternal order that dates back to over a century.  Butler associate, Shaheen Nouri, has been a member of Shriners International for four years. Even more recognizable than its rich color and symbol is the commitment and impact Shaheen and members of Shriners have on the lives of children in need around the globe. It was this commitment to helping others that drew Shaheen to the order. 

What is Shriners International and what is its mission? 

Shriners International is a fraternal organization with approximately 350,000 members from 196 chapters in the U.S.A., Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, the Philippines, Europe, and Australia. The organization is best known for the Shriners Hospitals for Children that it administers (and the exclusive red fezzes that members wear). 

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a network of 22 non-profit medical facilities across North America. Children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay. Care for children is usually provided until age 18, although, in some cases it may be extended to age 21. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, the hospitals are owned and operated by Shriners International. Patients are not required to have any familial affiliation with the Shriners and most do not. 

When and how did you become a member?

I became a Shriner in 2016.  I attended the University of South Florida prior to law school.  The Tampa Shriners Hospital for Children is located on campus.  A good friend of mine was a Shriner and encouraged me to get involved after I showed interest in the service they provide for children in need of crucial medical care.  I was so happy to learn that they provide these services at no cost, and I couldn’t imagine the position of those who are in need of this care but otherwise would not be able to afford it.  I applied to join the organization shortly thereafter.  (For those interested in membership, you can visit 

What is most meaningful to you about being involved in the organization’s mission?

Becoming a Shriner is a decision I will always cherish.  However, you do not need to become one to make a difference.  In fact, Shriners Hospitals for Children is funded by generous donations from all people and all backgrounds.  These donations are translated directly to specialized medical care for children in desperate need. 

What projects and efforts are you currently participating in during the pandemic?

Many people also volunteer in person at their local Shriners Hospital in their spare time.  While the pandemic has made it understandably difficult for many to volunteer in person, donations (and spreading the word) continue to go a long way.  The care these hospitals provide to children and their families continues to be as important now as it was before.