Writing contest raises money for charity

Every student entry earns a $10 donation towards Habitat for Humanity, an organization that offers affordable housing

A national student writing contest to raise money for affordable housing in communities across Canada is open for submissions from students in Grades 4, 5 and 6.  Habitat for Humanity Canada’s annual Meaning of Home contest launched Jan. 6 and students have until Feb. 21 to share an essay or poem between 50 and 300 words about what home means to them.

Last year, more than 8,000 students participated and organizers are hoping this year to receive a record-breaking 10,000 submissions. More than 58,000 students have participated since its launch in 2007, and the contest has raised over $1.5 million for housing projects in Canada.

Three grand prize winners (one from each grade) will receive a $30,000 grant and nine runners up (three from each grade), will get a $10,000 grant to be directed to the local Habitat project of their choice.

Every student entry earns a $10 donation towards that student’s local Habitat for Humanity, ensuring that communities benefit from each student’s participation. Last year, Quebec students helped raise more than $6,500.

This model of affordable homeownership helps families in need of housing buy their own home by offering mortgages geared to their income, so long as they contribute sweat equity by volunteering up to 500 hours for the charity. The organization has 54 local chapters across Canada, and is active in every province and territory. For more information, visit habitat.ca.

The contest is sponsored by Genworth MI Canada, a private residential mortgage insurer, as well as Revera Inc. and Silver Hotel Group Ruparell Foundation.

Teachers or parents who are interested in having their Grade 4, 5 or 6 students participate can get more information at meaningofhome.ca.