Writing contest lets student talents help build local homes

Elementary students in grades four, five and six are invited to take part in a national writing contest, sharing what ‘home’ means to them.

The Meaning of Home contest supports Habitat for Humanity Canada, and local students who enter will earn a $10 donation towards Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region.

The pre-built roof is hoisted and placed on Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region’s most recent build here in Kingston on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021. The project is being built in Kingston’s east end on Rose Abbey Drive. Photo by Penny Cadue.

According to a release from Habitat for Humanity, three grand prize winners will each receive a $30,000 grant to help their local Habitat for Humanity build a place to call home for a family in need of affordable housing. In addition to the grand prize winners, nine runners up will receive a $10,000 grant for their local Habitat builds.

Each submission helps Habitat Kingston move closer toward the goal of providing another local family with safe and affordable housing. This simple act translates into much larger impact, showing younger generations a way to serve their local community and create a lasting effect in the lives of future generations to come,” said Cathy Borowec, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region.

The most recent family here in Kingston to move into a Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region home on move-in day. This home is part of the local Habitat for Humanity’s Cowdy Street project in downtown Kingston. Photo via Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region.

“Home has been a refuge for so many over this difficult time. Home begins with four walls, but it doesn’t end there. It means so much more – more time with family and a safe and healthy place to study, to grow, and to build community,” added Julia Deans, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada.

Founded in 2007 by Sagen, Canada’s largest private mortgage insurance provider, the Meaning of Home contest has raised over $1.7 million to help build quality and affordable housing in communities across Canada, according to the release. Over 80,000 students have shared the importance of home in poems and short essays. Habitat said that last year a record-breaking 12,000 entries were received.

“This contest is a valuable learning tool for students to reflect on what home means to them and their family,” said Stuart Levings, President and CEO of Sagen. “As a founding sponsor of this contest, we are proud that the Meaning of Home contest has encouraged over 80,000 students to become more active and compassionate citizens.”

Submissions are being accepted by mail or online at meaningofhome.ca until February 18, 2022. Winners will be announced by June.

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national charitable organization working towards a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. According to the release, Habitat Canada brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 50 local Habitats working in every province and territory, provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. For more information, visit www.habitat.ca.

Habitat for Humanity said that the Meaning of Home contest would not be possible without the support of Founding Sponsor Sagen and Awards Sponsors Chapman’s Ice Cream, Urban Systems Foundation, and Home Trust.

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