Habitat for Humanity in search of voters for their annual Jingle Bell Build contest

Who do you think will build the best gingerbread house?. Getty Images

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan has officially launched the voting portion of their Jingle Bell Build campaign.

This annual event raises donations through a gingerbread house-building competition. Those interested had until Dec. 4 to pick up a kit, build and submit a photo of the finished product.

“It’s so great to see everyone get involved in a fun way, and contribute to Habitat’s mission, and what better way to do it than by building a gingerbread house,” explained Habitat for Humanity director of resource development, Danielle Smith.

All proceeds raised from the kit sales and the $5 online voting fee go directly towards a housing project in Lake Country.

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“We’ve actually built eight homes to date, and eight families will celebrate their first Christmas in their new homes,” said Smith.

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“We also have four more families waiting, because we have a four-plex to build on the site in Lake Country over the next year.”

Last year, more than 200 kits were purchased in the first 10 days of the campaign. This year however, there have been 41 family submissions and seven teams registered since the launch on Nov. 7.

Smith says she hopes to see more local businesses and teams help contribute towards the worthy cause.

“Last year we raised $25,000 and this year we set that goal to $30,000, but we haven’t even raised $10,000,” said Smith.

“This is an opportunity for the voting public to jump on board and help contribute to our goal.”

The high cost of inflation and supply chain issues are also having a direct impact on building costs for the new development, further magnifying the need for donations.

“When we first started that project in Lake Country in Sept. 2020, the entire cost was projected at about $4.2 million,” said Smith.

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“Since then, its grown closer to $5.7 million. That’s just the reality of it.”

The winner of the contest, chosen by online voters, will receive a Nintendo Switch. Other prizes available include a 55” 4K TV and gift cards.

You can vote for as many houses as you wish or for the same one multiple times. Voting ends Dec. 16.

To vote for your favourite build, click here.

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