This year’s 18th Annual “Build a House … Build a Dream” contest for fifth-graders was held virtually on March 20th. In the prior 16 years, the event had been held in person, with hundreds of attendees joining the organization to celebrate the students’ creativity and hard work. This year’s virtual event hit a new record with more than 200 students registered to participate, with 108 submitting photos and videos of their 3-D dream homes.
In this competition, students from more than 200 area schools were invited to work individually or in pairs to build their own three-dimensional, model dream home. Contestants then submitted photos or videos of their projects and a description explaining their inspiration behind their design and aesthetic choices.
This year’s creations included homes made of shipping containers, homes stacked with multiple floors to take up less space on the ground, and multiple houseboats, one of which even floated. An in-house judging process selected the top 16 dream home architects to be virtually interviewed by a panel of judges. All of the participants’ submissions were displayed in an online presentation with a special welcome message from NBC10 meteorologist Bill Henley, who ordinarily emcees the event.
The contest is free for participants, but thanks to local businesses, the event is one of the main fundraisers for Habitat throughout the year. Founding sponsor Fox & Roach/Trident Charities has championed the event from the beginning. “In the past 18 years, we have helped raise over $500,000 to support Habitat’s mission to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter,” said CEO Larry Flick. “This is one of our favorite events. Over the years, more than 6,000 fifth-graders from 750 schools have used their ingenuity to build their incredible dream houses.”
Other sponsors that supported this year’s event included Bentley Systems, Eadeh Enterprises, Citadel, Martin Architectural Group, Saint-Gobain, RKL LLP, E.B. Walsh and Associates, McMahon Associates, Great Valley Racquet Club, JBC Associates, and Home Depot. Through these generous donors, the event raised more than $17,000 to support Habitat for Humanity of Chester County.
The goal of “Build A House … Build A Dream” is to introduce elementary-age students to Habitat’s crucial mission of building affordable, accessible housing. Volunteer opportunities start at age 15, making it challenging to share Habitat’s mission with younger students. This event is a fun, creative way to remind the students that Habitat doesn’t just build a home; it builds a dream for a family in need.
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbuqThC40h to see all of the participants dream homes!