Mina Rahimi – Ottawa
On the eve of the Persian New Year, with the help of Iranians in Ottawa, the sixth charity market for orphans in Iran was held on Saturday, February 15, 2020. Held formally for the sixth year at the Presbyterian Church, this market was previously held unofficially in Iranian homes in the city.
Philanthropy and helping others, especially orphans and impoverished people, is one of the most honorable and inseparable part of the Iranian spirit all over the world, and they have never been indifferent to their compatriots, particularly those who are in difficult living conditions. Today, many charities in Iran are working in different fields with the help of volunteers and sometimes with the support of official institutions. Each of these nonprofit organization delivers cash or non-cash donations to people in need in different ways. Iranians of Ottawa, despite being miles away from their homeland, do not neglect to help their indigent compatriots.
This market which is held by people has never received assistance from the federal, provincial, or municipal governments, and it is all run and operated by Iranians on a voluntary basis. There are approximately 10 people executing this market and more than 50 people provide their products and services including food, snacks, desserts, face painting, family counseling, legal counseling, chiropractic sessions, physiotherapy, photography, electrical services, mechanical and cosmetic services to the customers and donate their profit to the market.
In an interview with Titre Mag, Ms. Jamshidi, the founder and director of the market said that all the revenue from this market will be donated to orphans in Iran: “In partnership with charities active in disadvantaged and rural areas of Iran which I am personally in contact with, all the revenue from this market in the form of cash donations such as university tuition fees and rentals and non-cash donation including clothing, stationery, and occasionally, medication will be sent to impoverished people.” Charities that contribute in this donation include Hazrat Zainab, Qaemiyah, Ehsan Support Group, Baran-e-Keramat-e-Razavi and Dasthay-e Mehraban.
Artistic and live performances and lottery are other part of this event. In addition to raising funds for orphans, this market is a good opportunity for Iranian business owners in Ottawa to advertise and sell their products and services in this way.