Habitat for Humanity’s annual Meaning of Home contest has perhaps never held more significance than in this last year.
Each year, the nationwide writing contest asks students in Grades 4 to 6 to submit a poem or essay on what home means to them. Of course, this year, students spent much more time at home than they usually would.
“Our home has transformed into an office, a school, and for the lucky, a place of refuge,” the Habitat for Humanity poster reads. “We’ve had a lot of time to reflect on what home means.”
For each essay or poem submitted, $10 is donated to the students’ local Habitat for Humanity.
“The goal is to teach students the importance of actively participating to better their communities,” reads the poster. A grand prize of $30,000 is awarded to one student in each grade and lets them choose which Habitat for Humanity build the money goes toward. Grand prize winners also receive an iPad and a pizza party for their class.
Three runner-up prizes are also awarded to each grade and include a $10,000 grant, iPad and pizza party.
Last year’s Grade 5 grand prize winner was Nathan Papps from Victoria for his Where the Heart Lives poem, which likened the structure of a home to the parts of a body. In it, he noted that the home’s heart was missing until the day his family moved in.
In 2018, his older brother Evan Papps won $5,000 for the charity with his poem, The Feeling of Home. He told Black Press Media then that it’s important not only to have a home, but to have people helping and loving you.
“I think what I was trying to tell is that we are very lucky to have our homes, and we should be generous towards other people who don’t have that,” he said.
Since beginning in 2007, the Meaning of Home contest has raised over $1.7 million.
Contest entries are due by Feb. 19. More information can be found at meaningofhome.ca.
-With files from Wolf Depner and Black Press Media
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.