Genworth Canada writing contest receives nearly 5,000 entries from coast to coast
TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Being grateful for what she has, inspired 11-year old Chaamindri Fernando from Winnipeg, Manitoba to write the winning essay in Genworth Canada's sixth annual Meaning of Home contest.
"I share a room with my brother But I should have my own He always makes a mess.
But I changed my mind when I knew You slept on road side benches Shivering in the cold Sometimes wet in the rain…"The Meaning of Home contest invites Grade 4, 5 and 6 students from across Canada to submit a written essay about what home means to them for a chance to direct $60,000 to a Habitat for Humanity build of their choice in Canada and receive a pizza party for their entire school. Chaamindri's essay was chosen among close to 5,000 entries from all parts of Canada. Participation over 2011 grew by more than 55 per cent this year, and more than 250 per cent in some provinces. "We are thrilled to see such a significant hike in participation this year," said Brian Hurley, chairman and CEO of Genworth Canada. "It's rewarding to know that our contest inspires children, teachers and parents across the country to reflect on what home truly means and take action to help provide a home for families in need." Since inception in 2007, the Meaning of Home contest has resulted in approximately $570,000 in total grants from Genworth Canada being directed to more than 30 Canadian Habitat affiliates. With Genworth Canada donating an additional $5 per entry again this year, every participating student helped bring a family closer to homeownership. "In Canada, the homes of a staggering 1.5 million families are unsafe, too small, or unaffordable," said Mark Rodgers, Chief Operating Officer of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "Each year, the Meaning of Home contest demonstrates the passion of today's youth in ensuring that all children have a good place to call home at the end of the day." Chaamindri has chosen Habitat for Humanity Manitoba as the beneficiary of her $60,000 prize grant. Five runners-up were also selected and awarded a $5,000 grant each to direct to a Habitat for Humanity affiliate of their choice. The runners-up and their Habitat beneficiaries are the following:
- Andrew Geffrion, Kanesatake, Québec - Habitat for Humanity Deux Montagnes
- Annalies Henckel, Courtenay, British Columbia - Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North
- Sammi Szeto, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia
- Denver Winch, Oakville, Ontario - Habitat for Humanity Halton
- Abby Howard, Whitby, Ontario - Habitat for Humanity Durham