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Build Up the Holiday Spirit while Giving Back with BHC’s Gingerbread House Challenge

In 2020, we’ve all experienced home in new ways. The pandemic has made it more evident than ever that safe, stable housing is critical to the health of every individual and community. Better Housing Coalition (BHC) works tirelessly to provide high-quality affordable housing options to neighbors right here in RVA. As a result of the pandemic, BHC’s largest annual event, the Gingerbread House Challenge, has gone virtual. While the format will be different, the spirit of our competition remains the same and our goal is unchanged: to spread cheer and raise critical funds and awareness for housing equity in our region

BHC is currently looking for teams and individuals to join this year’s competition and compete for the $1,000 Juried Grand Prize. There is no fee to join and the rules and regulations have been eased making it perfect for even novice bakers and decorators to participate. The competitor entry form must be returned by November 27, and one member must be designated the team captain. Team captains must be twenty-one years of age or older since our friends at Hardywood are providing a lot of great swag and prizes.

Lee Jones, who has competed since the event began in 2017 said, “Competing in the Better Housing Coalition’s Gingerbread House Challenge is something I look forward to every year. Seeing kids and families light up at whatever creation we come up with, whether it’s a real, moving ballerina dancer or the iconic Main Street Station, seeing the kids get excited has definitely been my favorite part. We’ve had a great time all while raising money and spreading awareness for BHC’s mission each year too.”

This year participants are asked to show off their holiday spirit and creativity by constructing a gingerbread display centered around the 2020 theme, Hometown Holidays. We want to see what makes your hometown special during the holiday season – whether that’s right here in RVA or somewhere else in the world.


Important Dates:

TEAM REGISTRATION: Through  November 27
FUNDRAISING PERIOD: Through November 30 at 11:59 p.m.
ENTRY PHOTOS + NARRATIVE DUE: December 1 at 11:59 p.m.
AWARDS ANNOUNCEMENT: December 4 at noon


“In the past, competing with my coworkers, this was a great way to get the holiday vibes flowing early. For some on the team, this was the perfect opportunity to start playing holiday tunes during our brainstorming and construction sessions. For me though, it was about seeing the kids get excited to see what each competitor had created. That little bit of holiday magic was something that made the whole competition worth it,” says Jones. This year, instead of creating with his colleagues, he is making his Hometown Holiday display with his roommates.

The Gingerbread House Challenge is a fun activity that is open to everyone, but the main goal of this event is raise awareness and funds to support BHC’s mission and work in the community. Competitors are encouraged to set a fundraising goal of $250, but we also recognize that it is not within everyone’s capacity especially during this challenging time. Whether you are able to fundraise or not, are still excited to have you join us! Teams meeting the $250 goal will receive some awesome event swag and be advanced to the juried portion of the competition competing for the $1,000 grand prize!

Jones says, “It is a great opportunity to compete against others to see who can out-holiday the other in a wildly creative, edible way, all while supporting BHC during the holiday season.”

BHC’s Gingerbread House Challenge is the perfect activity for your family this Thanksgiving.
For all the details, competition rules, and to register your team, go here.


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