A man has donated nearly $10 million to a poverty-stricken community in Florida over the last 20 years. The donations and programs started by Harris Rosen, age 73, have reduced crime, increased graduation rates, and raised property values in the formerly impoverished community of Tangelo Park.
Rosen was raised in what he describes as a “rough neighborhood” New York City. As detailed on his company website, he went on to obtain a bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration in 1961.
He began his career in the hospitality business after serving three years in the United States Army. He worked his way from a file clerk at the Waldorf Astoria to Director of Hotel Planning for Disney, eventually opening seven hotels of his own.
Although he is now a multimillionaire, he never forgot his meager beginnings. After Rosen built his hotel empire in Orlando, Florida, he felt a need to give back to the the community.
As reported by Today.com, Rosen concentrated his efforts on the Tangelo Park, Florida neighborhood. Rosen noted that, 20 years ago, the town of 3,000 was overcome with crime and poverty.
As discussed at TangeloParkProgram.com, Rosen’s donations have funded free daycare programs for all parents, and a scholarship program, which offered high school graduates fully paid college tuition. These programs have been provided to all Tangelo Park residents for twenty years.
The program also offers a community center where families can are provided with parenting classes, counseling, and other resources.
The results have been encouraging. Rosen’s donations of close to $10 million, to the poverty stricken community, has improved the quality of life for virtually all residents. The once impoverished community boasts a near 100 percent high school graduation rate, with many students pursuing a college education. The crime rate has reportedly dropped by 50 percent, and property values have increased considerably.
Rosen shares his story, as he hopes other private donors will be inspired to help poverty-stricken communities. He hopes that the success of his programs will highlight the importance of intervention and prevention.
Rosen has already donated nearly $10 million to the community, but plans to continue his donations and efforts to help the Tangelo Park neighborhood thrive.