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MEDIA RELEASE: Habitat for Humanity Needs Students to Make Their Words Count

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Habitat for Humanity Needs Students to Make Their Words Count
 
Grade 4, 5, and 6 Students Asked to Share Their Stories of Home to Help Build Community
 
SUDBURY, ON - Words matter. They mattered when a student immigrated to Canada from Africa and was able to share her unique sense of home with her new classmates through a poem.
 
“The little girl’s family had a home through Habitat for Humanity, and she was able to say to her classmates ‘you kids maybe haven’t seen the other side of this, but know we have a chance to change it.  We can make a difference.’”
 
Genworth Canada’s Meaning of Home contest gives Grade 4, 5 and 6 students the chance to direct $50,000 to Habitat for Humanity for use in the construction of an affordable home in their community.
 
Kathy Yusko is the Family Selection Chair of Habitat OGN’s Sudbury District Chapter and an account manager with Genworth Canada. She shared the girl’s story when asked to recall a memorable contest entry.
 
“They realize not every child like themselves has a home,” said Yusko. “A home can make a difference in the lives of these children because they can prosper and grow.”
 
Yusko has witnessed it first-hand throughout her years of service with Habitat for Humanity, including on builds in the Sudbury District and Calgary, Alta.
 
“My perspective of home has changed. Absolutely it has changed. I understand a house is not just a house, it’s not just the four walls. A house is the memories that are created there, it’s a home.”
 
The Meaning of Home contest engages students and asks them to use their critical thinking and writing skills to spark a real tangible change in their neighbourhood. “An opportunity to make a difference,” said Yusko.
 
Already students in the region are joining the movement. Habitat OGN Sudbury District Chapter Chair Claudette Strom has visited schools and asked students to enter the contest by sharing their meaning of home. Evelyn, a Sudbury student in Grade 4 writes “Warmth always fills the air and everyone loves to share. Hugs and Kisses everywhere.”
 
The Meaning of Home contest closes on Wednesday, November 30. Eligible students have the remainder of the month to enter their essay, poem or video.
 
To celebrate Meaning of Home’s decade-long anniversary, Genworth Canada has pledged its largest donation in the history of the contest. A grand-prize donation of $50,000 will be directed to the winning student’s chosen Habitat for Humanity affiliate along with an iPad for the student and a pizza party for their class. Ten runner-up prizes of $5,000 will also be awarded. As well this year, every eligible contest entry will result in a $10 donation directed to the student’s regional Habitat affiliate.
 
Habitat OGN is currently building a semi-detached home in Espanola to help two more local families purchase and own their very first home. Students in the Greater Sudbury Region now have an opportunity to help these families, their neighbours, achieve the dream and stability of homeownership.
 
Habitat has previously constructed affordable homes for five area families with the help of volunteers and the support of the community, and operates a ReStore at 444 Barry Downe Rd.
 
For more information on contest rules, or to submit your students’ entries after October 3, visit
www.meaningofhome.ca. To schedule an in-classroom Habitat for Humanity presentation or to schedule an interview please contact Britta Gerwin at bgerwin@habitatgatewaynorth.com or call (705) 646-0106 ext. 205.

 


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