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Two Local Students Win Big For Affordable Housing

Posted: 25-Jun-2021

In a year when our homes played venue to online classrooms, boardrooms, milestones, and mundane moments alike, Habitat for Humanity was interested in hearing the answer to the question, “what does home mean to you?”

An amazing 12,000 kids from across Canada answered that call!

This year was a record year in terms of the number of submissions received for the annual Meaning of Home writing contest – a contest that encourages students in grades 4, 5, and 6 to share what home means to them through a poem or short essay.

This year’s Meaning of Home contest also raised a record of $300,000 for local Habitat for Humanity organizations across Canada, including $22,890 for Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region.

Every year, there are three grand prize winners in the contest, one from each grade, who each win a $30,000 grant towards their local Habitat for Humanity build, and nine runners up who each win a $10,000 grant towards their local Habitat. These much-needed funds go towards building homes for families in need of a safe and secure place to call home.

This year, Olivia Grady, a local grade 6 student was a runner-up in the contest at the grade 6 level, winning a $10,000 grant towards Habitat Peterborough & Kawartha Region’s Leahy’s Lane 41-unit affordable condo development.

And, Emma Mattson, a local grade 5 student was a runner-up in the contest at the grade 5 level, also winning a $10,000 grant towards Habitat Peterborough & Kawartha Region’s Leahy’s Lane 41-unit affordable condo development.

In addition, each student entry into the contest also earns a $10 donation for their local Habitat.

Check out videos of each of these incredible students reading their winning entries below.

I’d like to congratulate both Olivia and Emma for their participation and incredible efforts in supporting affordable housing in their community,” says Sarah Budd, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region. “Because of their hard work, these $10,000 grants mean that we can help more local families and individuals have access to safe and affordable homeownership.

The Meaning of Home contest would not be possible without the generous support of the founding sponsor, Sagen (formerly known as Genworth Canda), and award sponsors Revera and Swiffer. Thanks to their generosity and investments, students have an opportunity to give back to their communities in an engaging and meaningful way.

During a time where we’ve all been spending so much time at home, it’s never been more relevant to engage kids on issues like affordable housing through our annual Meaning of Home contest,” said Stuart Levings, President and CEO of Sagen. “Once again, I’m amazed by the talent and commitment of students who’ve submitted their stories and I’m overwhelmed by the record-breaking number of submissions and funds raised. It’s never been more important to have kids involved and creating positive change in their communities.

Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region’s model of affordable housing helps families in need of housing buy their own homes. Habitat homeowners volunteer up to 500 hours and pay an affordable mortgage geared to their income, helping them build a strong foundation and the financial stability to help plan for their children’s futures.

Teachers or parents who are interested in having their Grade 4, 5, or 6 students participate in the Meaning of Home contest, can access an educational module online at meaningofhome.ca that includes writing tips and information on affordable housing issues in Canada. Submissions for the 2022 Meaning of Home contest will be open in January 2022.

To read all the winning entries, please visit meaningofhome.ca/winners-2021.