The need to share

With her many hats as a hotelier, restaurateur and chairman of M&S Holdings, doesn’t Sheila get tired of squeezing in time for her advocacies? “I turn to Corinthian 12: 9 that says: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," says Sheila Bermudez-Romero

iWantToShare Foundation head Sheila Romero (center) with members (from left) Dey Dimaandal, Aia Santos-Halili, Robby Carmona, Trisha Calma, Monica Dela Cruz, Kathy Ventura, Leah Sotto, Monika Ravanera, Bonnie Tan, Cory Untalan and Talia Asuncion. Not in photo are Pinky Antonio, Mian Alentajan, Carina Ventura and Ronald Pineda. Photo by MARCHES ANG

Written by Mr. Bum Tenorio Jr.

Sheila Romero, with resolute will and calm in her voice, asks the members of the iWantToShare Foundation, which she heads, for their opinion on the project they are doing. They are in a restaurant in Makati. On the table are sumptuous dishes. But more sumptuous are the ideas suggested by the team. Sheila diligently takes down notes, adding her own take on the program they will pursue.

At the end of the night, the iWantToShare Foundation is ready for “benefit,” an auction of fine art, jewelry and timepieces on July 20 (with a special cocktail preview event on July 13) at the Nex Tower on Ayala Avenue in Makati City. The auction, a project of the foundation and gavel&block of Salcedo Auctions, will benefit the  Cancer Institute wing of the Philippine General Hospital.

“In particular, the proceeds of the auction will go to the renovation of the isolation unit of PGH’s pediatric hematology-oncology department (in the outpatient area of the Cancer Institute). We will also provide new equipment for the medical needs of 350 kids with cancer in a year,” says Sheila, also the chairman of M&S Holdings, the majority shareholder of AirAsia Philippines.

It could have been so much easier for Sheila just to give a check. But she prefers to give her time also and to involve the time of her well-meaning friends who joyfully join her in the foundation.

Having worked and established several foundations before, Sheila knows that humility is part of the game. And she proves that a humble heart that knows how to ask sincerely receives kindness and generosity from others. She’s grateful that those who help her have not experienced donor fatigue. In fact, she says, “They are always willing to help.”

Sheila says iWantToShare Foundation started with a dream to make positive impact in the lives of the needy. So, in 2013, with the help of her closest friends, the foundation was formed. Armed with the thought that “to whom much is given, much is expected,” they started to bring joy, love, hope and help to people in need.

“I knew at that time that I was already surrounded by a solid group of people who would be iWantToShare Foundation’s founding members in 2013. They are my closest friends who share the same dream. We had a unified vision to give a part of ourselves to our society in whatever way we can and to be able to influence others to do the same,” she says.

She adds, “Over the years, I saw how the hands of God picked the right people to join us in our mission to build a community of sharers and foster a culture of giving among our peers.”

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