So here's your chance to get your kids a cute playhouse for next to nothing and help some needy children at the same time.
The Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties is running its 18th annual Parade of Playhomes this month. The event raises money for programs to prevent child abuse in the three counties.
This year, five playhouses - two built by local home builders and the rest by teams of local high school students - will be either raffled off or auctioned online. Some of the playhouses will be on display at special locations in those three counties: Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro, University Mall in Chapel Hill and the American Tobacco District in Durham. And volunteers will be on hand at times to sell raffle tickets, which are $2 a piece or three for $5.
The event's proceeds are divided up among The Exchange Family Center in Durham, The Exchange Family Center of Orange and the Chatham County Partnership for Children. More than $110,000 has been raised since the event started in 1992.
Genevieve Megginson, executive director of the Chatham County Partnership for Children, said the group has used the money for such programs as outings for dads and kids and to support the program Day of the Book. The event provides money for programs that might not otherwise happen, she told me.
"It's a really great fund to have," she said.
The raffle ends April 30. To learn more about how to buy the raffle tickets, see photos of playhomes and get involved, click here.