The concept of “home” changed in 2020, as people were forced by the pandemic to do almost everything from home.
Habitat for Humanity’s Vancouver Island North chapter wants to know “what does home mean to you?” for their annual Meaning of Home writing contest. The contest encourages students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 to share their thoughts on the topic through poetry or short essays. Submissions are open online until Feb. 19.
“The Meaning of Home contest gives people something to work together on. Even if they don’t win they are making a difference together,” said Comox student Alice Hopkins, who was a runner-up in last year’s contest.
Since it was founded in 2007, the contest has raised over $1.7 million to help build affordable housing in communities across the country. Over 100 students from across the region entered the contest last year, sharing what home means to them. This year Habitat for Humanity hopes to reach a new record-breaking number of submissions.
Three grand prize winners, one from each grade, will receive a $30,000 grant to go toward the local Habitat build of their choice. Three runners-up from each grade, nine in total, will also receive a $10,000 grant towards a local build. Every entry earns a $10 donation to their local branch, ensuring that communities benefit from students just participating.
“I hear about a lot of young people making a big difference,” said Hopkins. “I didn’t know I could make such a difference. Now I know anyone can make a difference if they try.”
Teachers or parents who are interested in having their Grade 4, 5 or 6 students participate can access an educational module online at meaningofhome.ca that includes writing tips and information on affordable housing issues in Canada. Winners will be announced in June, 2021.