Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

NBK Shines

We complain about our banks and we write about all the goofs and stupid policies, so it is only fair, when a bank does something right, to share that side of the story, too.

I was invited yesterday to the Mother’s Day celebration benefitting Operation Hope and the Animal Friends League. I used to do fundraising, so I am always interested in just how much of the ticket price will actually benefit the charity.

It was a glorious event, from start to finish. More than 160 gathered to celebrate Motherhood and to support Operation Hope and Animal Friends. During the meal, hostess Sheryl Mairza from Operation Hope announced that because NBK had stepped up to the plate and covered the cost of the breakfast, the entire cost of every ticket would go to benefit the two charities.

WAY TO GO! It is every fundraiser’s dream to find generous corporate sponsors, so that not a penny is wasted and every – oops – fils can go toward the intended charity. Bravo,NBK! I don’t know if banks get tax incentives in Kuwait, as they do in the US. In the US, we know that most major corporations have designated charitable funds and it is our job to encourage them to donate those funds our way. It is by far more difficult to get corporate sponsorship in a country where there may not be such significant tax benefits. Again, Bravo NBK. Thank you for sponsoring Operation Hope and Animal Friends, and for covering the cost of the breakfasts.

May 11, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Entertainment, Events, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Fund Raising, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Operation Hope Newsletter

Hot off the press!

Greetings OH Family,

Lots of exciting news to share with you! On Wednesday, by God’s grace 1,027 bags were distributed!! The grateful recipients of our labor bore mile-wide smiles, while some had looks of disbelief as we handed out winter bags to them. If you haven’t been on a distribution this (or a previous) year, please DO try as you’ll be blessed beyond measure as you come face to face with our needy brothers and sisters. You’ll never be the same after the experience ~ but don’t just take my word for it ~ come out with us to find out for yourself!

We have had a request to serve the TCN workers at Al Jahra Hospital. A date for that distribution will be forthcoming.

Rumaithiya street cleaners (all 120 of them) received a winter bag on Saturday. Today 250 street cleaners for Salmiya area received their winter bags; and tomorrow, by God’s grace the Salwa cleaners (150) will receive theirs! OH wishes to provide the same for as many neighborhood cleaning crews as possible, SO if you can find out where the buses load and unload for your area we’ll organize a distribution for them.

Thank you to the Catholic Church in Kuwait City for a donation of KD 50 from their summer library proceeds ~ also, to the BLS for their donation of toiletries, which we’ll give to the Philippine Embassy very soon.

Your patronage to the following activities will add support to OH’s fundraising efforts:
· November 10th: Harvest Festival at N.E.C.K
· November 11th: Beauty Bazaar in Salwa
· November 16th: Fall Bazaar in Mubarak Al Kabeer
· November 17th: KTAA Bazaar @ the Dar Al Cid
· December 4th: BLS Bazaar @ Al Hashemi (SAS Hotel)
· December 8th: AWL Charity Bazaar

For more details on exact location and timings, please contact Becky & Chelly on

OH’s 2nd packing of 1,200 winter bags commenced last Friday. Called Student Day we were assisted by scout troops, the ASK National Honor Society, and many other students of varying ages and backgrounds. What an awesome sight to see our children knee-deep in charity work. My hope is that their experience will be remembered (and carried out) for a lifetime! Thank you to everyone who participated!

Thanks also to the New English School teachers who spent their ½ day off on Wednesday to help load vehicles for our deliveries! While they could have spent the day doing something else they chose to spend their time helping us to help others! What a blessing!!

OH needs more volunteers to pack this Friday, November 9th at 3:30 PM. A small set-up team is also needed that day to arrive at 2:30 PM. 1,200 bags must be packed that day so we’ll need a lot of hands on deck! Please RSVP your commitment to Kathleen on

Thanks to Barbara R. for hosting a very fun and successful Bunco fundraising event for us today! We raised KD 125 having fun and so can you! If you are interested in helping to raise much needed funds to cover the cost of our winter bags, please contact Chelly and/or Becky on Simply gather your circle of friends for a quiz night, talent show, Bunco, dinner party, or whatever you wish! It gives your friends something fun to do, but moreover it helps us to help others!

Someone asked me a few days ago if I ever get discouraged by the enormity of our job in helping the poor living in Kuwait. The truth is ~ yes. When I am depending upon my own abilities to get the work done I feel very discouraged.

A wise young Australian man who was born without limbs said this, “The awesome thing about the power of God, is that if we want to do something for Him, instead of focusing on our capabilities, we should concentrate on our availability. Once we make ourselves available for God’s work, guess whose capabilities we rely on? GOD”

So when discouragement comes over me I return (with humility) under the authority and leadership of the Almighty in this mission of mercy that I might become available so that His capabilities may be glorified.

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Events, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Spiritual | , , | 12 Comments

Operation Hope Options

What I love about Operation Hope, in addition to the good works they are doing in the Kuwait Community, dreaming big and making it happen – is that they offer a variety of ways for the public to support them.

If you can give hands-on help, they welcome you.

If you cannot – they welcome your donations!

Here is there most recent newsletter – please, if you can help this worthwhile effort, in whichever way you are most comfortable, please, help. You could have a lot of fun helping pack the winter clothes, or delivering the bags. Or you could have a lot of fun throwing some of your money at the problem.


A Mission of Mercy

October 28, 2007

Greetings OH Family!

Exciting news ~ 1,200 winter bags were packed Friday afternoon. Thanks to numerous volunteers the colossal task of setting up, packing, and cleaning up was very quickly accomplished (with the bulk of our winter apparel packed in about an hour’s time!). Moms, dads, children of all ages, business exec’s, and even someone’s grandmother helped to make the miracle happen! My daughter says the pile of bags resembles Mount Everest. . . I think I agree with her!

Another 1,200 coats, thermal underclothing, hats, socks and gloves will need to be packed this Friday, November 2nd at 3:30 PM. This packing date will be a very special one because it is the OH – KUWAIT Student Day. All students (pre-k to university) are encouraged to participate. Kindly RSVP your confirmation to Ms. Kathleen on at your earliest convenience. We’ll require a set-up team to help at 1:30 PM as well. The set-up group should be strong and team-oriented.

The cement foundation for our new headquarters was laid yesterday, and the tent ought to be erected by the weekend ~ God willing. Thanks again to Mr. Nasir for his generous donation!

Thanks also to Debbie B. for donating some of her handicrafts for OH to sell at the bazaars this fall/winter. We appreciate your support!

Deliveries to the poor will begin on Wednesday, October 31st. We’ll need six drivers with SUV’s to arrive at my home at 12:45 PM to load & deliver 324 winter bags in Jabriya. (Mubarak Hospital janitors/porters)

Our second group of volunteer drivers should arrive to my home at 5:45 PM on Wed., October 31st to load & deliver 250 winter bags in Khaldiya. We’ll need 4 SUV drivers at that time. (Kuwait University janitors/porters)

Our third group of volunteer drivers should arrive to my home at 9 PM on Wed. October 31st to load and deliver 128 winter bags in Jabriya. We’ll need 2 SUV drivers at that time. (Mubarak Hospital janitors/porters)

Our fourth delivery will take place at 5 AM on Thursday, November 1st. OH Administrator, Jaye Lynn; Student Ambassador, Emily; and I will make that delivery of 73 bags to Mubarak Hospital janitors & porters.

Kindly RSVP your committment to Ms. Kathleen on the address mentioned earlier for the day & time you can help us deliver. We’ll also need one or two OH photographers are on hand at each delivery, please.

Donations have been steadily coming in ~ glory to God! We still need an additional KD 250 to pay for the next 1,200 hats, socks and gloves that students will be packing this Friday. Your support is most appreciated.

Currently the outstanding balance for the 5,000 coats that were shipped in is KD 17,475.000. Please prayerfully consider hosting a fundraising event, or making a donation that we may continue to pay off these coats. For those who have hosted a fundraiser or given a donation I thank you so very much! The number does seem rather large BUT God’s provision is larger! Each update to follow this one will feature the total outstanding balance at the start so that you may be blessed to watch the sum fall!

Proceeds from Kuwait’s largest charity bazaar (December 8th @ the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Farwaniya) will be donated to OH – KUWAIT!! Please support this exciting one-day event by volunteering (and attending). We estimate we’ll need 40 – 50 volunteers. If you are interested in helping please contact Ms. Kathleen as soon as possible. This may be an ideal opportunity for Boy/Girl Scouts and National Honor Society members to fulfill their obligations to community service hours. Also, if you wish to participate as a vendor, please contact Bazaar Coordinator Karla K. at 626-6223.

Brothers and sisters there are so many opportunities to help ~ so many means in which to make a profound difference in someone’s life. Let us not allow a busy schedule or even a social stigma dictate to whom and how much compassion we extend. Jesus didn’t just help people. He inspired others to do so and encouraged helping behaviors. My prayer for each of us is that the Lord would prompt us to lend a helping hand to the needy and deepen our compassion amidst suffering.

God bless,

Sheryll Mairza

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Spiritual | , , | Leave a comment