by Humera Nawaz
How do we inspire others without knowing that our actions are meant to bring us closer to the Almighty? How can we help His creation and bring light into the world and inspire many to find purpose? This we may never know. This is the purity of intention.
Dian Alyan, the founder of Givelight, can share countless stories of many who have joined in her mission to support the orphans around the world without knowing the light was spreading far and wide.
Meet Laila Maali, a fashion stylist of Palestinian origin, born and raised in Syracuse, New York. Laila raised over $60K for GiveLight by holding many events that surpassed all fundraising goals. Laila has arranged five different events since 2018 with the latest one held this past January. The event started with a conversation between Dian and Laila, and a goal to support 10 special needs Orphans in Egypt. After the event, forty orphans were blessed to know they had people thousands of miles away in Orlando who cared about their wellbeing, education and health without ever meeting them or having any familial bonds. Those ties we hold with others, who truly need us, transcend beyond blood, oceans and friendships. They are nourished by a desire to support those whom we find closer to God, believing in a cause that supports those who the Prophet loved and asked us to hold dear in our thoughts and actions, and to remind us the value it places on raising orphans around the world, with dignity, grace and love.
Laila’s hugely successful event has set forth a precedent for all others to consider as a model. A mother of three boys, she understands what our children need: the comfort of knowing they are supported, security of shelter and food so they can focus on moving towards their goals with passion without worrying when their next meal will come. Laila, a fashion stylist, believes in excellence in everything she does and this event was no exception. She found sponsors at different giving levels ranging from $300- $600, and 100% of the donated money went towards the GiveLight fund for the Egypt Chapter. Laila has always relied on her business acumen to find vendors who will donate their services for events. The event was fully catered at a lovely restaurant by one of our generous supporters, Dalia Elbatrawy; the photographer captured the event’s essence with beautiful decorations free of cost, and friends and local businesses donated exquisite jewelry, art and services for the silent auction. The team of volunteers Laila brought together poured their heart and soul into making sure every detail was taken care of to meet Laila’s vision.
What’s next for Laila? How will she continue to use her vision and fashion sense to continue spreading joy around the world? Laila tells us that she would like to support the children of Palestine, her ancestral family home. She has designed a beautiful necklace for Zudo with surah Al Falaq engraved on it. Thirty percent of sales go towards scholarships for the children of Gaza. We are so grateful for Laila’s passion and are looking forward with excitement to her continued partnership with the GiveLight, Orlando Chapter.