With the busy holiday season approaching, people may find it difficult to find time to swing a hammer at a Habitat for Humanity build, but the organization is serving up a new alternative through a smaller scale construction project called the Great Gingerbread Build!
Even the most pint sized Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are encouraged to wield the tools necessary to create masterful gingerbread houses in this fundraiser held at College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Corner Brook and Prince Philip Drive campuses.
Sandra Whiffen, executive director for the Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador chapter, says both CNA campuses will be transformed into “homebuilding factories” on Saturday, Nov. 26 in Corner Brook and Saturday, Dec. 3 in St. John’s.
“Both of the events are a family friendly fundraising activity that involves the purchase and decorating of gingerbread houses at the Habitat homebuilding factory,” Whiffen said. “The event is targeted to families, especially children that want to become involved in Habitat’s work in some capacity.”
Habitat for Humanity policies do not allow youth under 16 years of age to participate on home build sites. That’s where the Great Gingerbread Build comes in. Whiffen says it was initiated as a way to educate and engage children and families about Habitat’s work.
“It’s a fun event that is used to raise awareness of Habitat for Humanity’s cause, and engage youth and families in our work,” Whiffen continued. “Of course we celebrate the season in a fun and meaningful way, so it’s a nice event that brings families together in support of local initiatives of Habitat for Humanity in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Jeff Martin, program developer for experiential education at CNA’s Corner Brook campus, says it’s a worthwhile cause and CNA students jumped at the chance to volunteer for it.
“This is a family-based fundraiser that increases the awareness about the need for affordable housing. We’ve partnered with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter and offered for the gingerbread build to be held at our campus while our students run the event,” Martin said.
“Every family will receive a gingerbread house kit made by our culinary program at CNA, which includes the icing and candies used to decorate their houses. The entire event is holiday themed with Christmas music and holiday decorations, plus we’ll have face painting and even a visit from Santa. It’s a great event to attend to kick off your Holiday season.”
Tickets, which cost $30, are limited at the Corner Brook event with just 40 spots available. They can be purchased through Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, the Great Gingerbread Build being held at Prince Philip Drive campus Dec. 3, will cater to 200 participants and features a chocolate house build from the Newfoundland Chocolate Company.
Andrew Goldsworthy, instructor/curriculum developer of Business at Prince Philip Drive campus, says the event has been a great community engagement project for CNA Business students who have been conceptually helping Habitat for Humanity brand this event.
“The students went right down to the foundation. They asked ‘Who owns the word gingerbread in the community right now’ and ‘Is there anyone else doing a similar event?’ Through their research they realized there wasn’t anyone doing this, so it was an awesome opportunity to position Habitat for Humanity to own this space as one of their marquee fundraisers going forward in the future,” Goldsworthy said.
“The students were able to bring a whole inventory forward of ways to maximize revenue and sponsorship potential for this event. The folks at Habitat for Humanity were blown away at the professionalism and the calibre of our students.”
Students are currently developing a video for social media promotion of the St. John’s event, as well as testing a poster campaign to measure what will best reach their target demographic.
“In a nutshell it’s about providing more community engagement with our students and allowing the community to see the calibre of what our students can do.”
Tickets are still available for the Great Big Gingerbread Build in St. John’s and can be purchased through the Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter website at http://habitatnl.ca
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic