Habitat Iqaluit selected for $50,000 grant

Students in grades 4, 5 and 6 were asked this question: “What is the Meaning of Home?” And more than 10,000 students from across the Bensen Wilmer 2016 winner Genworth Meaning of Home contestcountry responded to Genworth Canada’s 10th Annual Meaning of Home Contest, in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada. The 2017 winning entry belonged to Bensen Wilmer, an 11 year old student from Victoria, British Columbia. Bensen has selected Habitat for Humanity Iqaluit to be the beneficiary of a $50,000 grant to help make a difference in Indigenous communities.  An additional $5,000 was awarded to ten second-place winners.

Bensen’s win will help a family in need of safe, decent housing build a home in Iqaluit. Along with the charitable grant, Bensen’s school will receive a $1,000 donation. Bensen will be given an iPad to celebrate his win, along with a pizza party for his class.

“It’s extremely rewarding to see the record number of students from coast to coast who participated in our 10th Anniversary of the “Meaning of Home” contest.  We are proud of this campaign which has helped increase awareness about the need for affordable homeownership in Canada.  Bensen’s poem really captured the essence of a home, the acceptance, warmth and place where one feels welcomed,” said Stuart Levings, President and CEO, Genworth Canada.

“We’re tremendously thankful for Genworth Canada’s continued support of Habitat Canada and the families we serve,” said Mark Rodgers, President and CEO, Habitat Canada. “Since 2000, Genworth Canada and its employees have generously contributed nearly $4M and countless volunteer hours working alongside Habitat future homeowners to build strength, stability, and independence through affordable homeownership. Thanks to this partnership and the Genworth Meaning of Home Contest, we’ve been able to educate the next generation of Canadians on how important it is to have a safe and decent home.”

What is the meaning of home? The winning entry!

What does home mean to me?
It’s a feeling of security.
Walls protect me from the storm.
My mom’s embrace keeps me warm.
I have no fear of what hides outside.
All of my worries to my mom I confide.

What does home mean to me?
It’s treating each other lovingly.
Home is feeling loved every day.
It’s the encouraging words I hear my dad say.
It’s where I learned to express my love.
We gather at meals and thank our God above.

What does home mean to me?
Simple. It’s being anywhere with my family.
It’s my mom, dad, sister and brother.
Always showing up for each other.

We open our doors and with our neighbours we share.
We host international students showing the world we care.
Home is a feeling in our hearts.
It’s not just a building that can be torn apart.
Homes are built but never taken away.
Because home is in your heart and it’s there to stay.

$5,000 grants awarded to 10 other local Habitats

As part of the 10th Anniversary, the contest included ten grants of $5,000 each to be directed to a local Habitat of the deserving winners from Paradise, Newfoundland to North Battlefield, Saskatchewan to Kelowna, British Columbia.The 10 second-place winners and their beneficiaries are:

  1. Nyah Barrett – Paradise, Newfoundland – Habitat Newfoundland & Labrador

  2. Amanda Kavanagh – Little Bay, Newfoundland – Habitat Newfoundland & Labrador

  3. Samara Dolinsky – Victoria, British Columbia – Habitat Victoria

  4. Kaeden Rosman  –  Salmon Arm, British Columbia – Habitat Okanagan

  5. Trinity Campbell –   Penetanguishene, Ontario – Habitat South Georgian Bay

  6. River Doherty – St. Andrews West, Ontario – Habitat Seaway Valley

  7. Isabella Michel-Decker – Westmount, Quebec – Habitat Quebec

  8. Nelly-Anne Robitaille – Levis, Quebec – Habitat Quebec

  9. Jasmine Bouchard – North Battlefield, Saskatchewan – Habitat Saskatoon (Battlefords Chapter)

  10. Bayan Assaf – Fort McMurray, Alberta –  Habitat Wood Buffalo

Students were also invited to submit videos describing what home means to them for a chance to win additional prizes.  View the winning video from Our Lady of Peace School’s grade six class from Oakville, Ontario at www.youtube.com/meaningofhome.