Habitat for Humanity announces grand prize winners in national student writing contest

Winners were chosen from 15,000 heartfelt submissions about the meaning of home

TORONTO, May 13, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Three deserving grand prize winners and nine runners-up have been chosen in Habitat for Humanity Canada’s national writing contest, Meaning of Home, in which children answer the question, “What does home mean to you?”

The winning poems and stories are among 15,000 entries submitted by grade 4, 5, and 6 students from across Canada. All the submissions are poignant reminders of the comfort and joy that a safe home creates for a child.

Everyone who entered earns a $10 donation to their local Habitat for Humanity with their submission. In addition, three grand prize winners receive a $30,000 grant for their local Habitat. Runners-up win a $10,000 grant for their local Habitat.

Through their entries, students have raised $327,000 this year for local Habitat for Humanity organizations, bringing the total raised through the Meaning of Home contest to $2.7 million since its inception in 2007.

The Grade 4 grand prize winner is Kashvi K. from Burlington for her entry "A Home is Not a House". Her $30,000 grant will benefit Habitat for Humanity Halton Mississauga Dufferin.

The Grade 5 grand prize winner is Kateryna (Katy) K. from Hamilton, for her entry “What does home mean to me?”. Katy’s grant will benefit Habitat for Humanity Hamilton.

The Grade 6 grand prize winner is Hannah B. from Toronto, for her entry “My Home”, whose grant will benefit Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area.

Grade 4 runners-up

Isla A. of Oakville for her entry H.O.M.E., benefitting Habitat for Humanity Halton Mississauga Dufferin

Julia H. of Kitchener for her entry George’s Question, benefitting Habitat for Humanity Waterloo

Karyssa K. of Vancouver for her entry The Wonders of Home, benefitting Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver

Grade 5 runners-up

Emily J. from Winnipeg for her entry Home, benefitting Habitat for Humanity Manitoba

Sofia S. from Halifax for her entry Home Sweet Home, benefitting Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia

Xuyuan (Alec) Q. from Richmond, B.C. for his entry Memories of Home, benefitting Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver

Grade 6 runners-up

Qinhao Z. from Windsor, Ontario for his entry The meaning of home benefitting Habitat for Humanity Windsor

Rihanna R. from Edmonton, for his entry What Home Means To Me, benefitting Habitat for Humanity Edmonton

Winter W. from Winnipeg, for her entry What home means to me., benefitting Habitat for Humanity Manitoba

“Too many Canadians don’t have access to a safe and affordable home — a universal need,” says Julia Deans, President and CEO of Habitat of Humanity Canada. “Through their thoughtful descriptions of the comfort and safety of a home, along with the laughter and love it contains, these students are showing us the meaning of home through a child’s eyes. Congratulations to all the winners for their beautiful submissions.”

“Since the Meaning of Home contest began in 2007, over 120,000 students have shared what home means to them. With the support of Sagen as founding sponsor, these students have raised $2.7 million to help more families in need of homes build stronger lives through housing,” says Stuart Levings, President and CEO of Sagen. “It’s our privilege to support students in becoming caring citizens, and local Habitats in providing safe and affordable homes for families.”

The Meaning of Home contest would not be possible without the generous support of Founding Sponsor SagenTM and Award Sponsor Urban Systems Foundation.

To read all the winning entries, please visit http://www.meaningofhome.ca/page/winners2024.

About Sagen™
As a sponsor since 2000, Sagen has donated over $6.9 million in support of Habitat Canada and has helped thousands of Canadian families realize their dreams of affordable homeownership. While Sagen’s financial support provides crucial funding for their homeownership program, its support of Habitat Canada extends far beyond financial support. Throughout the sponsorship, Sagen employees from all levels of the organization, including President and CEO Stuart Levings and his executive team, have lent their leadership experience, industry knowledge, and time to help launch many of Habitats’ signature programs, including the Sagen homebuilding grants, Global Village volunteer program in Canada, and the Meaning of Home contest. These programs, along with Sagen’s support and involvement, have significantly increased Habitat’s ability to raise funds, recruit volunteers and ultimately, support more families and build stronger communities. Find out more at www.sagen.ca

About Habitat for Humanity Canada
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national charitable organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 46 local Habitats working in every province and territory, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global non-profit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca.

For more information:
Jennifer Fowler
Director, Communications
Habitat for Humanity Canada
(437) 317-8581

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at





Kateryna (Katy) K. Kashvi K. Meaning of Home winners Hannah B.