Bags of gum drops and M&Ms, as well as squishy pouches of icing, were piled atop tables in the Westhampton Beach High School cafeteria Friday afternoon as two sisters from East Quogue—and about 20 of their friends and classmates—worked on gingerbread houses that will be donated to less fortunate families on the East End.
Lane and Nora Davenport, who are 15 and 14 years old, respectively, and attend Westhampton Beach High School, explained that over the summer they decided to build gingerbread houses with the intention of donating their tasty creations this holiday season. The idea became a reality late last week, as the sisters and 20 other students worked on gluing the gingerbread walls together with icing, and lining gingerbread roofs with sweets, while completing 50 of the special edible houses. All of the work was done on Friday and Saturday in the high school cafeteria.
“My sister and I wanted to help people,” Lane said, noting that their effort has been dubbed “HUGGS,” which stands for Helpers United in Giving Gingerbread Surprises. “We like things to be happy, and we want people to be happy because we know it’s a hard time right now,” she continued. “We want to spread cheer.”
Local community organizations, such as the Kiwanis Club of Greater Westhampton, the Rotary Club of Westhampton and local churches, delivered the cookie and candy houses earlier this week to the families in need.
Nora said she hopes that when the families receive the gingerbread homes, whey will “feel cared about and feel really happy and hopeful.”
Lane and Nora also received donations from BJ’s Wholesale Club and Sam’s Club to make the gingerbread houses. The sisters and their fellow Westhampton Beach High School classmates also went around their neighborhood collecting monetary donations to help finance their project.
Kim Lato of Quogue, who attends the high school, said the design of her gingerbread house would be “fun, but unique.”
“I’m putting a lot of candy on the roof and making it as realistic-looking as possible,” Kim said.