Kipinä-kerho, was founded in Washington D.C. by a group of women born in Finland, or of Finnish descent. The purpose was to keep Finnish culture and language alive and render material assistance to their war-torn homeland. Initial efforts were directed toward collecting clothing and other necessities. As time went on, these energetic women and their spouses turned to raising money through popular Christmas bazaars at which Finnish delicacies, glass and books, etc. were sold. The proceeds from this undertaking have grown steadily, and go to fund medical, educational, elderly care institutions and scholarships in the U.S. and Finland.