Charity and dancing go hand-in-hand at the Scottish Cultural Centre

Local event brings people together to help a cause


Reported by Tierney Grattan

Aida Tajbakhesh said she likes bringing people together to help a cause. In particular, she likes to give donors something in return.

Tajbakhesh is the founder of the Food for the Soul charity program, which decided to put on a small charity event in partnership with the Brazilian Swag Dance Group, in exchange for a donation to their community kitchen program.

At the March 23rd event people brought in food donations, and in exchange got the opportunity to learn some Brazilian dancing for free.  This was an opportunity for the class instructors, like Maria Daiha, as well.

Community culture

“We’re always trying to bring a little bit of our culture to where we live” Daiha said, who is from Brazil.

She said that sometimes they feel quite homesick as there is not a huge Brazilian population in Vancouver.

The class by donation allows her to share a little bit of her culture with other people, and build relationships.

Normally charities would do a drive, asking people for clothing, food or other basic necessities that all people need.

They campaign the event by advertising for the days that they will be collecting items, or where and when people can come and drop them off, but it’s not a social event.

Giving back to the community

A service-based charity will put on an event to raise donations, but also give something back to the donors for free.

One example would be putting on a bake sale by donation, where people can give however much money they want and get some baked goods in return.

For donors like Kathleen Jones, she enjoys being able to do and try different things.

“If I’m taking advantage of that service, then I feel they should be rewarded,” Jones said.

Jones and her husband enjoy going to art galleries by donation and if it helps them stay alive, she is glad to be a part of keeping their doors open.

This was the first time the program conducted a donation-funded event, though they state that they have similar events planned for the future.

Tajbakhesh said that she really wanted to organize a community event to help their cause.

“Doing a dancing event really brings people together and have fun,” Tajbakhesh said.

Tajbakhesh mentioned all the donations they raised from the dance class are going to Watari, a non-profit organization based in Vancouver that supports mental health and youth outreach teams.

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