MIM Spring 2020 Lotus House Service Project Fauzan Sheikh

Windy Day in Downtown Atlanta by Fauzan Sheikh

Student Bio

Hello! I am Fauzan Sheikh. I would describe myself as a person with a solid set of plans and a set direction for life. Currently I am a Junior headed to my Senior year in Florida International University enrolled in the Honors College. My area of studies is in Construction Management and I am enrolled in the Moss School of Construction at Florida International University working on their bachelor’s degree program. My profession is Estimating as I am the Assistant Estimator currently at Zahlene Enterprise Inc., which is a construction company located in Medley, FL. I was born in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, raised in Miami, FL, and I currently live in Pembroke Pines, FL. Being enrolled in Miami in Miami with professor Bailly as my instructor, has truly opened my eyes to what Miami really is.

Volunteer Pass at the Lotus House by Fauzan Sheikh

Lotus House is an Organization that was built upon viewing the needs of so many women and children that are displaced primarily in the City of Miami that need immediate assistance and attention for survival. Lotus House provides sanctuary, support, education, tools and resources that give women and children hope and the will for self-betterment. The Sundari Foundation Inc. is a non-denominational and non-profit organization that has been working hard ever since it was created to help the poor, homeless, and disadvantaged women and children. The Sundari Foundation was created by a small but very eager group of volunteers who were committed to help aid the women and children in their community.

Miami in Miami Helpers by Professor Bailly

This opportunity to serve the community and return the blessings that are given to us to those who may not be as blessed was given to me by the FIU Honors College through the Miami In Miami class. Serving the Lotus House is not part of my major or my predicted career, but it is something that I undoubtedly enjoy very much. Being a Muslim, my faith is Islam. Islam teaches us to return to those in need and it is part of our religion to the extent that if we can help and we do not, we are not considered proper Muslims. This was not the first time that I was volunteering for an organization that helps the poor and needy because I am a normal attendee for Project Downtown Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, which is also an organization that feeds the poor and homeless every weekend. Having prior experience from Project Downtown I very much understood the purpose and the necessary ethics required to fulfill this volunteering opportunity at the Lotus House.

Self Sanitation | Photo by Gabriela Lastra

We arrived at the Lotus House on the morning of Wednesday, March 11th, 2020. Upon arrival at the Lotus House I saw just from the first 10 minutes of being inside the facility, how important organizations such as these are for the face of humanity. Before we were even given instructions on what our agenda for the day would look like, I saw women and children all around myself and none of them looked sad or even close to looking depressed. This made me realize how ungrateful I can be even though I have everything that a human can need or even want.
We were instructed to take good care of ourselves and make sure we disinfect ourselves regularly because Covid-19 was just at a rise at that time. Blanca and I were put together as a team and we were assigned to clean all glass panels on the doors and windows as well as disinfect and sanitize all door handles and chairs in the lobby since that was the highest traffic area and people are constantly coming in and out. After I was done disinfecting, I was given a mop and bucket. I now held the mop and bucket for the first time in my life and I thought I knew how to use it, but I was not very good at it. Blanca showed me how to drain the water out of the mop itself, so it is not too wet nor too dry. Having to mop floors in specific made me realize how privileged I was to not have to do that throughout my life.

After everyone finished their designated assignment and I completed thoroughly disinfecting and mopping the cafeteria we could get in line to serve ourselves with food once the people deserving of the benefits were done eating. Not only does the Lotus House provide food for the people in need, it also provides quality foods that are high ion nutrition and great for health. I picked a fish sandwich for myself with a side of salad and a side of soup.

After I finished eating, I was asked to once again wipe down the handles of the entrance and exit doors. While I was doing that an elderly lady called me to come up to her. She complimented my hair and told me how she loved how shiny and silky it looked. I carried on a conversation with her and she told me how difficult her life was, and she wouldn’t know when her next meal would be. She was truly grateful of the Lotus House and satisfied with the services provided to her.

Becoming exhausted from cleaning floors, wiping windows, and disinfecting door handles had never felt so satisfying. We had just as a class helped the people who truly need the assistance. This was a class that would bring even those with the highest of egos down to earth and make them realize what they have is a blessing and not just something given or something they deserved from the womb. There are millions of people out there that do not know if they will eat, or even worse, if their children will eat today. There was a warm feeling in my heart after leaving the Lotus House that stayed present for quite a few days.

Citations

“Where Hope Blossoms.” Lotus House Shelter, lotushouse.org/.

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