How You Can Support Local Businesses And Volunteer During The COVID-19 Pandemic In Riga

Whether healthy enough to venture outside the house or currently in quarantine or self-isolation, we can all find a way to help others during this unprecedented crisis.

Support Local Businesses

Independent businesses contribute so much to Riga’s distinctive flair. I’m in awe of the business owners who’ve adapted to the sudden changes by offering contactless deliveries, voucher schemes and online services. That resilient spirit, willingness and ability to change is proof of why they deserve to pull through! We can help through actions like choosing to get food from the local grocer, buying coffee vouchers and taking part in online fitness classes from the comfort of our own home. Here are just some initiatives to support. Add more in the comments section below!

Keep Fit Without Leaving Your Living Room

Gyms, fitness and dance studios have been ordered to close while Latvia is under a state of emergency, that’s currently until 14th April, 2020. Ever taken part in an online class? Now’s your chance! Dancing in front of my laptop with sunglasses on as the sunlight streamed through my window felt strangely lovely.

  • Lampa Room organises ecstatic dance online with a PayPal donation link to say thanks for organising!
  • PiYo Studio runs online yoga and pilates classes. Register online!
  • ATMA is hosting online yoga classes. Register online!

Eat Well At Home

Visit the Facebook page of your neighbourhood restaurant, cafe or coffee shop to find out if they’re offering deliveries, takeaway orders or gift card schemes!

I’ve noticed some inspiring responses from business owners in Riga and elsewhere. Spiikiizi, for example, is selling coffee cards for future use, while Gimlet is selling cocktail vouchers. Buržujs has turned to selling gourmet ready meals and vacuum-packed ingredients. Nirvana will deliver a raw food lunch straight to your door.

Buy From Local Food Suppliers

Visit the Labumu piegāde Facebook group to find local businesses which can deliver their produce from bags of pasta (Jelgavas augļi) to homemade mayo (Z/S Indrāni) and local brews (Labietis).

I got fruit and vegetable boxes from Agro Set the other day. Ordered on Monday, got the delivery on Tuesday!

In Cēsis, the local zero waste shop, ieber.lv, is selling produce through a window and offering delivery by courier to parcel delivery kiosks.

Stock Up On Gifts And Design Items

Riija design shop started selling locally sewn face masks. Latvijas pērles gift shops are inviting everyone to shop online and get all our birthday and Christmas gifts sorted in advance.

Donate To A Great Cause

The Hospiss LV foundation is taking donations towards free lunches for Latvia’s medics. Paēdušai Latvijai provides food parcels to low-income families and others in need. Donate via Ziedot.lv!

Volunteer Your Time

If money’s tight and you’re healthy enough to leave the house, volunteer your time. Paliec-majas.lv is a website in English, Latvian and Russian for connecting volunteers throughout Latvia with people in quarantine, self-isolation or risk groups who need help with buying food, walking the dog or taking out the rubbish.

Keep Yourself Entertained And Learn Latvian

If you had tickets to a play, which has been cancelled, consider donating that money to the theatre rather than requesting a refund. In the meantime, while we can’t physically attend a show, some of Latvia’s cultural institutions have come up with ways to keep us entertained at home.

We can say thanks by having an especially active cultural season when it comes around!

Learn Something New, Expand Your Horizons

Language schools and training centres are launching online-only groups and courses. Maybe now’s the moment to learn Spanish? Or book an online consultation with a coach to use this time to plan your future!

If there were ever a time to strengthen our community spirit, it’s now! Count your blessings for living in a community that hasn’t left our supermarket shelves empty.

Share this post far and wide and add your suggestions to the comments section below!

Special thanks to Jūle Rozīte for helping compile this list!

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