Zeba, an active realtor by profession, is by nature a social person who enjoys making friends and hosting events. Soon after the devastating tsunami in Aceh, she heard an emotional speech by GiveLight founder Dian Alyan, who had started GiveLight Foundation, to help orphaned children. This cause touched on the idea of spreading awareness through social events. For her, this was a perfect match. Attending events that raised awareness on issues that she was passionate about seemed like the perfect way to spend her time for a greater cause.
Although she is a realtor, she sometimes feels more of a marriage counselor, as some spouses feel differently when buying or selling a house. “After marriage, I feel that I am helping in the biggest financial decision of their lives, with their Real Estate needs”. She loves to help people, builds deeper connections and strongly believes, and strives for getting results that would work best for her clients.
In 2011, after a long day at work, Zeba attended a GiveLight ladies game night in Santa Clara, CA, where she had a relaxing time winding down, playing scrabble and making new friends. She liked the idea so much, that she decided to host fun gatherings, as well as quite regularly support other GiveLight events. Her “halal” tiramisu is much sought out, and a quick sold out item at GiveLight’s Global Bistro every year.
The idea of including a good cause to her life, offers a sense of fulfillment “You don’t even feel that you are doing something for a cause, as you are having fun at the same time.” Not only is Zeba initiating a gathering in which sisters can build relationships, but the added dimension of connecting through a shared commitment to the betterment of humanity, makes it that much more valuable.
GiveLight Founder, Dian says, “There’s a beautiful bond between us and I feel blessed to have her in my GiveLight family”. GiveLight Foundation encourages people to spread awareness through various channels.
To date, Zeba has hosted seven GiveLight events including a ladies iftaar party, and it’s first ever social media fundraising campaign. Here are images from one of her events. The Facebook fundraiser was modeled after a raffle she had seen online for another non profit cause she supports. Dian, had challenged, attendees to raise $500 by the event/date in May 2012 for GiveLight ladies annual Gala, at four seasons hotel in Palo Alto to support a child for the whole year. Another friend was hosting a tea party to raise funds, so Zeba came up with Facebook fundraising campaign idea, to bring awareness and spread the cause globally. Zeba’s online campaign was successful and warmly appealed to her family and friends, raising over $3000 Masha’Allah.
Though Zeba supports many charitable causes, but feels a deep connection to GiveLight, and this sentiment is spread with every social connection she makes. She is motivated to share the achievements and ambitions of the foundation wherever she can. Feeling blessed in this opportunity to raise awareness and bring relief to children in need, she seeks to share this opportunity with everyone.
Although she is a pioneer, her work can be modeled in any city of the world. Raising awareness through socializing and whole-heartedly appealing to friends by sharing a deep love for the greater good on any social media platform is wholly doable in this day and age, and Zeba has made it sound easy!
When asked “Why Givelight?” she says, “ As a mother, it appeals to me because it concerns children. I am not afraid of dying, as we all have to go one day, but children need their parents’ support, especially at a younger age. Children are the most vulnerable, and need our support, so if you take care of one child, you are basically taking care of our future generation. Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him), was also an orphan and there is a related Hadith (saying of the Prophet). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “I will be like this in Jannah (heaven) with the person who takes care of an orphan”. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) raised his forefinger and middle finger by way of illustration. (Bukhari) “GiveLight, which was founded to take care of orphans, provides an ideal opportunity to gain a chance to be closer to our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), in Paradise”.
Thank you Zeba for all you do for us here and our children worldwide!
by Farah Siddiqi
GL Feature writer