Habitat for Humanity’s Socially-Distant Gingerbread Building Event


Olivia Cevasco

It’s December, which means it’s the month of Habitat for Humanity’s 7th annual Gingerbread Building Event! Normally, the celebration is held in the school cafeteria, with holiday music and treats, festive tablecloths, handmade snowflake decorations on the walls, and a high schooler dressed as Santa, but in light of the pandemic, this year’s event was held virtually on Zoom. Despite this challenging situation, the club rallied, thanks to the efforts of teachers 

Mr. Doyle and Mrs. Cabrera and club leader Nate Kim, and sold 48 gingerbread houses—an all time record. The gingerbread kits were distributed to lower schoolers last week, and at 4PM on Monday December 14t, the high school Habitat team and lower school students paired up in breakout rooms to celebrate the holidays and build gingerbread houses together. 

Having participated in this event last year, I anticipated that the celebration’s holiday spirit would decrease because of the virtual platform. But I was proven wrong. This year, the participation reached an all time high—and so did the Christmas spirit. There were holiday pajamas and virtual backgrounds with Christmas trees, certainly something we don’t normally see at this event. The Gingerbread houses looked amazing, iced in red, green, and white, and topped with peppermint candies and lights… and I can assure you that the amount of icing-and-candy-eating was unparalleled. 


The high school and lower school students were able to establish stronger bonds on the virtual platform as we got the chance to meet our lower school buddy’s parents, siblings and even pets. In my breakout room with a first grade student, we were able to share our Christmas lists and favorite holiday movies and traditions. 

Perhaps the success of this event demonstrates that this holiday can be shared virtually without decreasing the quality of the celebration. We are all finding new ways to be with family and friends this year and hope that you can start new traditions and experience the holidays in new ways.   

As we head off for the break, Habitat for Humanity and the Echo wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday!