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Writing contest for kids helps fund Greater Victoria homes

Entries need for Habitat for Humanity contest
The Habitat for Humanity build at 1375 Piercy Ave. in Courtenay Photo by Yana Dimitrova.

By Ella Matte/contributor

A nationwide writing contest from Habitat for Humanity is back and looking for Greater Victoria submissions.

Since 2007, students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 have had the opportunity to write about the “meaning of home” and will help Habitat for Humanity put up homes with a $10 donation per entry.

The contest is running from Jan. 9 until Feb. 24. Last year they received over 13,000 entries which is a record high of submissions for the contest and raised over $311,000. Contenders have the chance to win a grand prize of a grant of $30,000 to help their local Habitat for Humanity build a place for a family to call home. Runner-ups will receive a $10,000 grant.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2019 15 per cent of the Canadian population experienced hidden homelessness and three per cent experienced unsheltered homelessness.

Since then, the number has only risen.

“We continue to be impressed by the response we receive from students across Greater Victoria for the Meaning of House contest,” said Scott Dutchak, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Victoria, in a release. “These students highlight the importance of shelter for everyone in our community. We are grateful to every student, teacher, and parent for their part in making a generational impact on local families.”

Last year, Rylan van der Spuy, a Grade 5 student from Oakville, Ont. was one of the grand prize winners and his poem, “If Home Were The 5 Senses” was turned into an illustrated storybook.

Founded in 1990, Habitat for Humanity Victoria has built 34 homes in the Capital Region District to date.

So far, there have been 50 contest entries and $500 raised. Submissions are accepted by mail or online at

- With files from Jenessa Mattson and Black Press Media

READ MORE: Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest