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Our Community: Gingerbread Showcase returns; three drop-offs for Warm and Dry Clothing Drive

A good news community roundup from Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island.

In-person viewing returns for Gingerbread Showcase

The Gingerbread Showcase, the premier fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity Victoria, is back for in-person viewing with a new batch of gingerbread houses reflecting this year’s theme: The Future of Home.

Up to 25 creations by volunteer bakers look into the future to consider how we might live, what our communities could look like and what adaptations we might make to create a brighter future for everyone.

“It has been a roller-coaster year for all of us as we rode the waves of COVID-19, so we are excited to be able to present visitors with an opportunity to view this year’s fabulous gingerbread ­creations both online and in person,” said Kelly King, director of communications and giving for Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

This is the 13th year of the event, a partnership with the Victoria Real Estate Board and four hosts this year: The Parkside Hotel and Spa, The Chateau Victoria, The Marriott Inner Harbour and The Doubletree.

People can view the entries online or in person. If they choose the latter, they will be greeted by four volunteer ambassadors who will guide them through the displays.

The showcase is free to enter, but visitors are encouraged to donate when they vote for their favourite entries in different ­categories, including the coveted People’s Choice Award. New ­features added this year include contactless tap to vote and donate options.

The Gingerbread Showcase is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, now until Jan. 2, at the Parkside Hotel and Spa, 810 Humboldt St. ­Visitors can pick up a show tour guide at any of the four venues.

Habitat for Humanity Victoria is a registered charity that help families build strength, stability and independence through ­affordable home ownership. Founded in 1990, it completed its first new-home build in 2000. Since then, it has built 34 homes ­throughout Greater Victoria, including Bakerview Place, its largest single project earlier this year.

• For more information, go to habitatvictoria.com.

An opportunity to travel to Nepal to help rebuild school for deaf

A Victoria-based charity is offering donors the opportunity to travel to Nepal to help rebuild a school for the deaf — with an optional side trek in the Himalayas.

Victoria-based Another Brick in Nepal was created in the ­aftermath of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015, killing 9,000 and injuring more than 23,000 people.

Some 900,000 homes were destroyed and entire villages flattened in the areas around Kathmandu. Along with homes, 5,000 schools were destroyed, and some areas in rural Nepal have yet to receive assistance. With schools closed due to safety concerns, children have missed out on educational opportunities.

Another Brick in Nepal’s mission is to help support areas that have not yet received assistance and rebuild schools in rural areas. So far, they have rebuilt three schools as well as supplying classroom furniture for another.

They are currently raising funds to construct a 2,900-square-foot dormitory for the deaf student program at Mahendra School in Kandbhari, Nepal. It is located in the Sankhuwasaba District, one of 14 districts of Province No. 1 of eastern Nepal.

For the first time, volunteers are being offered the opportunity to travel to Nepal and help with rebuilding the school and domitory. No construction experience is necessary. There is a one-week minimum time commitment. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs while in the country.

Participants can also sign up for a trek to the base camp of Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest mountain. The 14-day trek is one that is off the trekking radar in Nepal, resulting in far fewer ­trekkers along the route, and offers stunning Himalayan vistas and views of Mount Everest.

• For more information, go to anotherbrickinnepal.com.

Sash honours Terry Fox’s Métis heritage

To recognize Terry Fox’s Métis heritage, the Métis Nation British Columbia and the Fox family have partnered to create a limited-edition commemorative Terry Fox Sash, with proceeds going directly to the Terry Fox Foundation.

The sash is considered an integral and symbolic aspect of Métis history and identity. The special sash celebrates Fox’s maternal Métis heritage and weaves together red and blue, two of his favourite colours.

“We have enjoyed developing our relationship with Métis Nation B.C. as we continue to understand, explore and embrace our Métis origins.” said Darrell Fox, Terry’s younger brother. “We are excited by the journey ahead and further initiatives that will highlight Terry’s Métis heritage and ever-growing legacy.”

The sash builds on a number of initiatives that the two organizations have collaborated on. This past year, a Métis artist helped design the T-shirt for the Terry Fox Run.

“I know I speak for our entire community when I say how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to continue highlighting the Fox family and all their contributions to our province and country,” said Louis De Jaeger, Métis Nation British Columbia regional director. “The Fox family has embraced their Métis identity and helped to shine a light on the rich culture our people hold.”

The sash will be available to purchase from both the Métis Nation’s online shop and the Terry Fox Foundation, with shipping in mid-December. Each sash is individually stitched by a Métis-owned small business.

The sash sells for $45. For more information, go to terryfox.org or mnbc.ca.

Warm and Dry Clothing Drive back for second year

A local businessperson is organizing his second Warm and Dry Clothing Drive, with three drop-off locations.

Richard Games, a principal of Jacoby and Games Chartered Professional Accountants, organized his first clothing drive during a bitter cold snap last winter.

This time, he is organizing another drive before it gets too cold.

Items of greatest need for men include jackets, shoes (sizes 10, 11 and 12), underwear, sweat pants, socks and blankets. Items needed for women include jackets, underwear, socks, sweat pants and hoodies.

There are three drop-off locations open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday: Jacoby and Games Chartered Professional Accountants at 732 Caledonia Ave.; Integrated Benefit Solutions at 101-1245 Esquimalt Rd.; and SSI at 401 Garbally Rd.

Those wishing to donate clothing store gift cards should consider purchasing them from Mark's, as the store offered deep discounts to organizers the last time.

The clothing drive runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.

parrais@timescolonist.com