Category Shaq: Bigger Than Irma


Meet Sharew (pictured above). He is selfless and an endless well of love. He is my friend. It took him a really long time and a lot of work to build his three successful businesses in Key West on his own. He is married now, with a three-year old son and a four month old daughter. His insurance does NOT include wind or flood damage. He is currently incurring thousands of dollars in costs sustaining his family without an income and with no sign of when they can return home. His whole life has been focused on giving and he has always refused anything in return from anyone. But now he needs us all and Key West needs him.


My name is Liya Endale and I am creating this page for my friend, Sharew Shoa- pictured above. We are both from Ethiopia but I live in Atlanta, Georgia while he lives in Key West. All funds will go directly to him, his family and their community to rebuild after the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. He was lucky to make it out on the very last flight that left the island before the storm hit. His post on facebook read: "One more shot of Sunset...never know when we will be back" with this photo.

And then this:

"Taking last flight out! Thanks to everyone for your care and be safe!"

Key West is located 90 miles away from Cuba, where Irma landed as a category 5 hurricane. If you've been to Key West, you have either seen Sharew (affectionately called Shaq on the island), heard of him, were hosted by him or have been to one of his businesses - Island Mystique (souvenir shop), Island Cigar (cigar shop) or Mystic Hookah Lounge.

Let's face it. Owning a business is hard. Owning three successful businesses that you built through blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice on the island of Key West is miraculous. And even if you COULD accomplish this task, you would likely want it all to yourself.  Shaq is a pillar of light in a dark world who has carved out a bit of paradise not to revel in but to make a landing spot for all who need to heal. From the moment you land he does not host you, he serves you by filling in the holes where this world has let you down and seeks absolutely nothing in return. In fact, that is the only thing about Sharew that will frustrate you. He will not ever, not in any way, not even a little bit- let you return the favor. Why? Because to him it was never a favor in the first place. I believe that to him, this is his way of thanking his creator for the blessings in his life.

Now, it is finally our turn to build him up, to catch him when he needs us, to show him that his love inspires us to believe that LOVE is BIGGER than HURRICANES. Help us help him, his wife, his young son and four month old daughter to rebuild so they can continue giving to their local and global communities. 

Your donation will go directly to the following:

-Pay the costs Sharew and his family are incurring daily while they wait to be allowed to return home (well into the thousands and growing every day).
-The insurance on the businesses is only partial and does NOT include flood OR wind - the two main sources of the damage on the island. Your donation will go directly to clean-up and repair/rebuilding of all flood AND wind damage on all three businesses.
-And any other damages not covered by insurance including their items in their home.
-Key West is a small community whose economy is depenent on small business owners. Your donations will also go directly to bringing Sharew's team of employees back to the island so they can get back to work as fast as possible and get the economy going again.
-Because they are more of a family than co-workers, Sharew will also use donations directly to helping this team after they have also lost their main source of income.
-Finally, any donations left over will go directly to housing more of Key West's work force to give them, the island, the economy and all of us hope that there is life after Irma.

Thank you in advance.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Liya Endale 
Key West, FL
Sharew Shoa 
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