Let's Rally for Zaya!

Hi Everyone!

This campaign is to raise money for a kind and thoughtful man named Zaya Zaya. Under terrible circumstances, which are out of his control, Zaya is about to lose his business and only source of income. Please read his story below and thank you for your support. 

Zaya is the owner of a small convenience store called Optima Woods Mart located on the first floor of the popular Optima Old Orchard Woods residential building. Several days ago a friend of mine informed me that the property management company (Trilogy Residential Management - http://www.livetrilogy.com/ /) who owns the space, has decided, without much notice, not to renew Zaya's lease. Apparently their plan is to replace the store with vending machines and a package room. They gave Zaya until end of January to move out.

When I first heard this, I was shocked and upset. Having lived at the Optima for over 5 years, I have gotten to know Zaya quite well. Recently divorced, Zaya has ran the convenience store since January 2011. He is a soft-spoken and kind man who always greeted you with a smile. Over the years, Zaya has taken the responsibility of also running the package room. As you can imagine, with growth of online shopping and the sheer size of the Optima residential population, this is no easy task. Even then, Zaya took his time and tracked all the packages, even personally calling/notifying when your package arrived. Zaya is also a very generous man; For his regular customers (myself included) he even kept an in-house credit policy if for some reason you didn't have your wallet on you. His response was always, "Don't worry my friend, just pay me back later." Zaya was also a man of faith. Optima residents knew that the Woods Mart would always be closed every Sunday during first half of the day so Zaya can attend church. 

As you can imagine, coming to terms that you're about to lose your business and there's nothing you can do about it, is no easy task and can leave you feeling helpless. When I spoke with Zaya over the weekend he was devastated and had no idea what he's going to do. He has poured his heart, soul and resources into this store and now has very limited amount of time to move all of the inventory and find a new space. 

The funds collected will go towards Zaya's moving, storage, and living expenses while he gets back on his feet and finds a new space to rent. I plan to run this campaign until January 31st, 2019. 

For those that want to go the extra step, feel free to write a message to Trilogy, asking for them to extend Zaya's lease.


I know it's the holidays and everyone's budgets are tight so I thank you even for the smallest donation. 

Thank you!
  • Zoe DuFault 
    • $15 
    • 41 mos
  • Daniel Beyer 
    • $50 
    • 41 mos
  • Bushra Osmani 
    • $200 
    • 41 mos
  • Noa Shimovich 
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Nicole Lemberger 
    • $20 
    • 42 mos
See all


Eugene Shlyakhta 
Skokie, IL