Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North executive director Pat McKenna handed over keys to Carlye Burton and her daughter Stella at a recent home opening in Campbell River. Habitat is now asking student to help out through a writing contest on what home means to them. File photo/Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North urges students to help with words

Writing contest for students in grades 4 to 6 can help family in the Campbell River area

Students in School District 72 can help Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North build homes.

The organization is also encouraging students in the neighbouring Comox Valley district to take part in what is a national event.

Students across the country have an opportunity to help a family in their community become a Habitat homeowner through the Meaning of Home contest – a national writing contest that supports Habitat for Humanity Canada. Launched on Jan. 11, the Meaning of Home contest asks students in grades 4, 5, and 6 to share in words what home means to them.

In the last 12 years, more than 50,000 students taken part. Through their efforts, along with Genworth Canada’s generous support, the Meaning of Home contest has raised more than $1 million to build homes across Canada for families in need of decent and affordable housing.

There will be three grand prize winners, one for each grade. The students will have the opportunity to direct a grant of $25,000 to a local Habitat for Humanity of their choice. Nine runners-up will receive a grant of $5,000 to the Habitat build of their choice. For every contest entry, a donation of $10 will be made to that student’s local Habitat, meaning every student can help build Habitat homes in their community.

“As a father and grandfather, I believe in the value of getting children involved in the community and teaching them even though they are young, they have the power to effect positive change,” said Mark Rodgers, Habitat for Humanity Canada president and CEO. “We need to empower youth to know that they can change this world for the better.”

The Meaning of Home contest is open to all Grades 4, 5 and 6 students across Canada. Submissions will be accepted online between Jan. 7 and Feb. 18, and winners will be announced in April.

More information on how to enter, as well as details on prizing, can be found at www.meaningofhome.ca, or by contacting Tom Beshr, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s director of development, at 250-334-3777, ext. 230, or tom@habitatnorthisland.com.