What does home mean to you?

What does home mean to you? Meaning of Home

Habitat for Humanity GTA kicks off annual Meaning of Home writing contest

Over the past year, our homes have transformed into offices, schools, and, for the lucky few, places of refuge. This year more than ever, Habitat for Humanity GTA wants to know, what does home mean to you? The annual Meaning of Home writing contest that encourages students in grades 4, 5, and 6 to share what home means to them through a poem or short essay is back and open for submissions at meaningofhome.ca.

The contest runs from January 4 to February 19, 2021, and three grand prize winners, one from each grade, will receive a $30,000 grant to be directed to the local Habitat home build of their choice. Nine runners-up, three from each grade, will also receive a $10,000 grant towards a local Habitat build. Every student entry earns a $10 donation towards their local Habitat for Humanity, ensuring that communities benefit from each student’s participation.

Founded by SagenTM[1] in 2007, the Meaning of Home contest has raised over $1.7 million to help build decent and affordable housing in communities across Canada. Last year, over 800 Grade 4, 5, and 6 students from across the GTA shared what home means to them and raised over $80,000. In 2021, Habitat for Humanity GTA is hoping to reach a new record-breaking number of submissions.

“The Meaning of Home contest provides youth an opportunity to learn about the importance of affordable housing by asking them to reflect on what home means to them,” says Ene Underwood, CEO, Habitat for Humanity GTA. “Instilling the importance of access to safe and decent housing early on will prepare them to be future advocates on this most critical issue.”

Habitat for Humanity GTA’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.

“In 2020, Sagen was proud to celebrate 20 years of affiliation with Habitat for Humanity CanadaThe Meaning of Home writing contest, in particular, is an initiative near and dear to us,” said Stuart Levings, President, and CEO of Sagen. “We’ve watched the program grow year over year, engaging over 68,000 students in Canada, and, as a founding sponsor of this contest, we’ve raised over $1.7 million to create affordable housing in communities across Canada.”

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 of the 2021 Meaning of Home contest will be announced in June 2021.

The Meaning of Home contest would not be possible without the generous support of Founding Sponsor Sagen and Awards Sponsors Revera Living Inc. and Swiffer. Thanks to their investments, students have an opportunity to give back to their communities in an engaging and meaningful way.

Click here to learn more and sign up today.