December 5, 2023 Courtesy of Julie Garisto at the Leesburg Daily Commercial
If you remember cobbling forts out of branches outside or building a secret clubhouse with your mom’s sheets and chairs inside, you can imagine how exciting the idea of a custom playhouse is to kids, especially to kids in families facing economic and life challenges.
Not only did Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter’s Jingle Build-off, its fifth annual playhouse build competition and biggest to date, drew crowds and pleasantly surprised kids to last weekend’s showcase, but local children who often go without essentials were surprised with their very own fully decked out, originally decorated, personalized and themed playhouse built and designed by locals schools, nonprofits and companies.
This year’s Jingle Build-Off showcased 24 playhouses to be gifted to kids in Lake and Sumter counties.
“We invite community members to view the playhouses and vote online at HabitatLS.org for their favorite playhouse, with all proceeds supporting affordable housing in Lake and Sumter counties,” Lacie Himes, development director of the Lake and Sumter counties chapter, said in an email last week.