Millions of people from all around the world connect on eBay. Each time that happens—about 69 times every second—something positive occurs in the world. We created Everyday Heroes to tell the stories of the people of eBay who are making an extraordinary difference in the lives of others.
Uplifting a Community Empowering Entrepreneurs
Almaskiya | Moh Agha
Moh Agha knows what it takes to start over. A skilled business man in his home country of Syria, Moh arrived in the UK in 2013 facing a language barrier and a shortage of job opportunities. It’s a challenge faced by others who have relocated in his community.
Moh channeled his previous sales experience into setting up his first eBay store—selling traditional Syrian items that connect people back to their homeland. Today Moh operates four eBay stores.
“As a Muslim community, we need some Islamic items, like the Koran. And we also want our own designer items. People are happy to find these items through eBay, buy it, and have it delivered to them in safe way,” said Moh. “It makes me proud.”
As word of his eBay success grew in the community, people began to ask Moh how to set up a successful business. At a friend’s suggestion, he began hosting workshops for new Syrian arrivals in the UK, teaching in their native Arabic language how to create an eBay account, research, price, list and ship items.
Moh has already trained nearly 90 people how to sell on eBay, all at no charge to the learners. His compensation is the satisfaction he gets from seeing people act on the information he shares.
“Being a volunteer is something that makes my day. I’m happy that people say, ‘Thanks. We’ve done something because of you.'”
Sharing a helping hand Love in 3D
Callum and Jamie Miller, Father and son
Callum Miller is quick to point out that he’s “only doing what any father would do for his son” in printing a prosthetic arm with a printer he bought on eBay.
“I haven’t invented this. These are other people’s designs that are classed as open source,” said Callum. “This community is just people like me helping other people. If the kids benefit from it, then it’s done its purpose.”
Callum filmed the moment that 10-year-old Jamie put on his first 3D-printed arm, and he posted the video on Internet forums. “That was video of Jamie holding my hand for the first time ever,” Callum said.
The video went viral. A second video of Jamie holding a torch for the first time also went viral, and the media began picking up the story.
Soon Callum received a call from the mother of a five-year-old girl, Keira, who was also born with one hand. The family happened live near the Millers.
“We can do that for her, can’t we, Dad?” Callum recalls Jamie asking. “He’s wanting to help other people now, which is great. The more we help him with that, it’s going to give him a good start in life.”
Jamie calls his dad “a very good man,” and he sees his future career in what the two have done together.
“I want to be a 3D designer,” said Jamie. “I want to create things and give people things to help them. I’d definitely like to give other people an arm if they need one.”
Teaching love and acceptance Lost and Found
Peter Krohn, Holocaust survivor
Two-year old Peter Krohn screamed as Nazi officers cut up his beloved teddy bear as they searched for valuables. The distraction may have saved his family, as the officers didn’t find the gold coins Peter’s mother had hidden in a bag of caramels. Nearly 80 years later, Peter—who now lives in California—found a replica of his cherished bear on eBay. It was listed by a U.K. seller who had just acquired the bear at a house clearance.
“There was a sad teddy sitting in the corner. I didn’t know what do to with it, but I thought, ‘I’ll put it on eBay—on a world platform. There must be someone out there who would love it,” said Stephen Latty, eBay seller.
Peter volunteers with The Story Project of Sonoma County, visiting schools with other Holocaust survivors to share stories of the past to help influence a better future. The program’s mission is to teach students moral and ethical responses to prejudice, indifference and hatred. Peter tells of his family’s escape from Germany, Italy and France during World War II—and how that experience shaped their lives and the generations that followed.
“The Story Project is a way of passing along to younger generations the value of love and acceptance of other human beings who are different. For kids to hear the story and see the bear—it’s a visual reminder,” said Peter.
Sharing kindness with strangers Hope After Harvey
Ann Dahms, eBay Shopper
Shirley Hines has lived in Houston for most of her life. She has been through hurricanes and floods before. But Harvey was different. When her shoes began to float in her bedroom, Shirley sought higher ground. But all she found were more flooded streets. For two days, Shirley waited in her flooded car for help.
When Shirley returned to pick through what was left of her home, one particular item stood out: A treasured set of cups passed down from her mother were cracked and left in pieces. The New York Times wrote a story about Harvey’s devastation, highlighting Shirley’s broken teacups.
Thousands of miles away, in Frederick, Maryland, Ann Dahms read about Shirley and decided she needed to do something to help replace those cups. “I recognized what that cup meant to her, and I knew that somewhere out there, there would be another cup…and wouldn’t you know, eBay had it.”
Ann found a set of cups just like the ones destroyed by the storm and sent them to Shirley in what she says was just a simple act of kindness.
When Shirley received the eBay package in the mail from Ann, she was shocked. “That was the most beautiful thing that I think anybody has ever done for me,” said Shirley.
eBay arranged a surprise meeting between Shirley and Ann in Houston.
“Shirley’s very obviously a woman of great dignity and courage, and it’s always good to be in the presence of people like that,” said Ann.
Lighting up the night Cosmic Dreams
GloMania USA & StarMakerFX | Theresa & Alber Goldberg
When seven-year-old Mareto saw his Cosmic Star Ceiling for the first time, he knew instantly why he loved it: “Now I don’t have to be scared anymore,” he said. Nighttime is particularly tough for Mareto, who is on the autism spectrum and has generalized anxiety disorder. The first night with his new ceiling, Mareto slept 11 straight hours.
“Spiritually, it fills my soul doing these star ceilings. I’m giving something to a child that’s helping them to sleep or deal with pain. How humbling to touch a child’s life,” said Theresa Goldberg, co-founder, GloMania USA and StarMakerFX.
Mareto was born in Ethiopia at the time of a super moon. His mother, Lauren Casper, says he’s always been fascinated by the moon. So when Theresa and Alber Goldberg planned the Cosmic Star Ceiling for Mareto it had to have a magnificent moon.
“(Using software) we traveled back to 2010 and found out the stars that were literally over his head on the day he was born. We put those constellations on his ceiling. It’s just a little way to say we understand,” said Alber Goldberg, co-founder, GloMania and StarMakerFX.
The ABCs of business eBay in the Classroom
Garden City Montessori | Alison Chapman
Garden City Montessori school teacher, Alison Chapman, was brainstorming a program that would help teach her first, second and third grade students a little about business. She decided to set up a store on eBay and empower her class of 6 to 9 year olds to become entrepreneurs.
“I wanted to do something totally out of the box,” said Alison. “eBay was a huge part of my life when I was a stay at home mom to help pay bills, so I was familiar with how easy it was to setup. It’s a simple team-building concept that applies the lessons they’re learning in school.”
The business model is simple. The students bring in items from home that they think would sell on eBay. They break into groups to handle different parts of the listing process: measuring the item, taking photos, and researching listing prices. Alison leads a weekly business meeting to go over items sold, new items that need to be listed—emphasizing a different business concept to the students each week.
What’s more, the students donate 100% of their sales to local charities. By adding charitable partners to their listing through the eBay for Charity program, the students can send all proceeds directly to the causes they choose. The students nominate a new charity every month.
“Our community is very giving. I wanted them to learn why charitable organizations need to exist in our towns, and in towns around the world, because without donations they cannot run. They love knowing that they are helping out in some way,” said Allison.