How to support Latvia's orphanages at Christmas?

The society “Butterfly Effect” has surveyed Latvian orphanages and social care centers to ascertain their needs, and published a list online to help guide interested donors, Latvian Television's 4. studija reported on December 7.

On the website of the society, you can check out a list of specific institutions and the also the material and intangible needs of the winter season.

“We [the public] always want to support [orphanages], but the first thing that comes to mind is candy, plushie toys. Our practice shows that sweets and toys come very last on the list of needs,“ said the society's representative Olga Kazaka.

Christmas decorations, bedding, sit-down beanbags, various board games, tickets for events, and a visit to cafes - these and more are things we can delight children with. Intangible needs are often more important and necessary than material ones.

A review of the list shows that there are many different needs in Latvia's orhpanages , but there are also a couple of institutions that do not ask for anything.

'We are the National Centre for Social Care for Children and Adults and the state provides children in our care with absolutely every basic daily need. As for some things we need, we have everything we need right now. But that doesn't rule out the desire of our fellow people in society to maybe help. We don't specify any of our needs. Thank you to the community, thank you to the people, thank you also to the organizations that are finding us themselves, asking, providing help themselves,” said Elita Ezerniece, deputy director of the State Social Care Centre Riga.

While the state has provided children with all basic needs, those who want to help can still do so. It should also be borne in mind that spending time with children can also help.

'We are very, very happy and grateful to these people that we are developing such a culture of support and donation. And people already include it today in their everyday lives, not as a one-off event,” Kazaka said.

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