Doing good and having a great time

  • 2009-12-02
  • By Philip Birzulis

IT'S BETTER TO GIVE: This year's Christmas charity is more international than ever with delights on offer from around the world.

RIGA - Christmas is meant to be the season of giving, and Latvia’s recession makes a bit of generosity especially valuable this year. Fortunately, an upcoming event in Riga makes it possible to help the less fortunate while doing your yuletide shopping, both in one convenient spot.

This year’s Christmas charity fair, organized by the International Women’s Club, will be held on Dec. 6, and promises to be bigger than ever. Former Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga will open the proceedings, a development which has generated interest about the fair beyond expat circles. Fifteen foreign embassies will each have a stand offering the culinary delights of their home country. Canadian maple syrup, American chilies and Dutch cheeses will mingle aromas with Chinese, Korean and Japanese delights, promising to stretch brunch into lunchtime or even afternoon tea for patrons. The ladies from the IWC will be sharing their homemade cakes to take home if you still have room inside. For something more permanent, 30 local vendors will be selling glass and crystal ware, jewelry, linen and other handicrafts.

In previous years, all the proceeds from the event have gone to one particular children’s charity. However, given the gloomy economic conditions, the IWC has expanded the list of beneficiaries to a pot pouri of local charities, ranging from a women’s prison to soup kitchens to scholarships for talented students. A “silent auction” offering prizes like airBaltic tickets, weekends at Reval hotels and freebies from local restaurants and hairdressers should add to the charitable take.
The IWC advises patrons to come with an empty stomach to sample the multicultural goodies, and a full wallet to make a contribution to the worthy causes.

The International Women’s Club Christmas charity fair will be held on December 6 at the Reval Hotel Latvija (55 Elizabetes iela, Riga), from 11:00 to 17:00.