The organizers, with sold-out table
Many websites that provide step-by-step guides to "starting your new tradition" are semi-commercial. With yesterday's first edition of what might well become an annual event, our intent was strictly charitable, but then charity does start at home.
Saturday's Tangier American Legation Open House and Christmas Market was a roaring success, and not just for TALIM. Partnering with the multinational women's association Tanger Accueil, which welcomes newcomers to Tangier, we enlisted our own women's literacy program participants plus several associations, such as Darna and 100% Maman, which help single mothers and homeless children.
Extending the geographical reach of our fundraising effort, we also sold beautiful fabric creations of the women of Minattou, working out of the Sidi Ifni (southern Morocco) NGO Dar Si-Hmad.
Beyond simply selling their wares, it was an important opportunity for the charities to become better known among Tangier residents, Moroccan and expat, and for the Legation to reach out to visitors from as far away as Fes, Rabat, and Casablanca (the US Embassy and the Consulate General sent a strong contingent of visitors).
Yes, we sold lots of books too, so this was win-win for all. And rather than keeping people away, the cold downpours all day perhaps enticed people to spend time in a place where the human warmth was palpable.