This is a story about Sheryll Mairza of Operation Hope.
....His feet brought her new purpose....
By Joyce Wangui Ward
Can you imagine going to the store and coming out changing lives? Neither did She. This is her story.
Sheryll from Wisconsin had been store-hopping at a Kuwait mall as she couldn't find what she was looking for. She'd started getting frustrated and rather than being rude to the sales people, decided to look down as she walked away.
Her eyes caught a very unusual sight. Feet with oversized shoes and no socks. It was in the dead of winter.
She looked up in amazement and right in front of her was an Indian man. Conversation ensued. The man made pennies and could not afford to buy socks, fitting shoes or a winter coat
She got to her car and broke down. Then immediately called her husband and shared the encounter. They both went back, found the man and got him some winter clothes. They also found out that so many people were in the same predicament. So they decided to do something about it.
Sheryll is a hostess with the mostest. She had been having parties at her home and so she decided than just meeting to have a good time only, do it for a cause. She shared with her friends and all agreed. That is how, her philanthropy- OPERATION HOPE- was birthed.
Every month, she throws a party at her home and friends come up with suggestions of the needs in the community and they raise money towards it.
Yesterday was my second time attending.
I will say this, HGTV and home decor magazines have nothing on her. The pictures won't justice either as cannot capture ambiance. Everything is detail and season oriented. Easter was the yesterday's theme.
It's not just her home, her heart is beautiful.
She is an incredible host. Her hugs and warm smile, her kind words and her beautiful prayers make me understand the POWER of finding your purpose.
She has been doing this for years and looking at her serve us seems like she just started it. She is exuberant, happy, excited and so eager that the ladies had to often remind her to sit and enjoy the brunch too. What a (S)hero.
As a student of the universe, I sit back and learn a few lessons.
- You don't have to be a 501c or NGO to make a difference in your community. Be the change you want to see in the world today.
- Marry someone who believes in your dreams. Sheryll's husband has been a part of her philanthropic journey that even yesterday he was the one helping in the kitchen.
- Don't let them divide us with religion. Sheryll is a Christian and is married to a Muslim man and they work with and also help people from all religious backgrounds. We are stronger together than apart.
- The only time you look down on a man, is when you're reaching out to help him up. Sheryll literally did this.
- Surround yourself with people you are aiming to become. It keeps you grounded as you realize you haven't arrived yet.
- Look good and Brunch on. You can still wear your pearls and give back. There's nothing wrong with having your shine as you share ( note to self)
Way to go Sheryll. You are a great teacher to me
--- End ---
If you would like to know more about Operation Hope, please see: