KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A group of children from the Crestwood neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, are helping other children they’ll probably never meet with a holiday tradition of building gingerbread houses.
“Every kid deserves a good life so they can grow up to be what they want,” 11-year-old Max said while decorating a gingerbread house at Aixois French Bistro, where it will be on display. “So they can follow their dreams.”
His dream is to be a professional football player. But his gingerbread house will allow other children to pursue their dreams too.
This group of students and several professional bakers have created “Gingerbread Lane” in the Crestwood Shops along East 55th Street between Brookside Boulevard and Oak Street.
From now until Saturday, the houses will be on display in storefronts during the shopping center's annual Holidays in Crestwood event. Throughout the event, the public can bid on each gingerbread house in an online silent auction. Money raised from the auction goes directly to Child Protection Center.
The Kansas City, Missouri-based nonprofit facilitates interviews with children who were the victim of a crime or witnessed a crime.
It's facility is rigged with recording equipment so children only have to relive the traumatic experience once, and prosecutors can use the recordings throughout the legal proceedings.
“I find this to be very hopeful work because you’re helping someone heal from a trauma, maybe multiple traumas, and find their way to be healthy,” Child Protection Center CEO Lisa Mizell said.
She said the center is seeing an above average number of patients this year, totaling nearly 900 children. The nonprofit also provides families with therapy, advocacy and more.
Mizell said she hopes children working on a gingerbread house for the auction learn a valuable lesson along the way.
“I think when you raise children teaching them about people who are not as fortunate as they are, teaching that empathy and understanding of other people, is what makes us better people,” she said.
On top of the auction, the Crestwood Shops will donate 10% of every sale during its Holidays in Crestwood event to Child Protection Center.
Holidays in Crestwood takes place Thursday, Dec. 2, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and continues Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. A list of other activities at the event include a horse drawn sleigh, wine tastings, a visit from Santa, carolers and special events.
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