TORONTO, May 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Over 8,000 Grades 4, 5 and 6 students from across Canada shared what home means to them in the annual Meaning of Home contest in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada. Each of the three grand prize winners (one from each grade) will receive a $25,000 grant to be directed to the local Habitat build of their choice. Nine runners up have won a $5,000 grant towards a local Habitat for Humanity home build. Every student entry earned a $10 donation for that student’s local Habitat for Humanity, helping to raise an additional $82,000 that will go towards building more homes in communities across Canada.

Mallory Pitzner, from Airdrie, Alberta is the Grade 4 grand prize winner and will be directing her $25,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta. Click here to read Mallory’s winning poem “When I Think of Home”.

Eva Marasa is the Grade 5 grand prize winner, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her grant will be directed to Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. Click here to read Eva’s winning poem: “Home”.

The Grade 6 grand prize winner is Hannah Brown, from St. John’s, Newfoundland, who is directing her grant to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland & Labrador. Click here to read Hannah’s winning poem: “Home”.

“I want to congratulate all the winners, but I also want to thank every student who entered and shared what home means to them,” said Mark Rodgers, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “Each and every one of you has made a tangible difference in your community - helping raise both awareness and funds that will allow us to serve more families.”

Runners up - Grade 4

Aidan IwasakiToronto, OntarioHabitat for Humanity GTA
Emma PouliotUpper Tantallon, Nova ScotiaHabitat for Humanity Nova Scotia
Ayaan ShahidWindsor, OntarioHabitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex

Runners up - Grade 5

Rebecca ElkoubiMontreal, QuebecHabitat for Humanity Quebec
Ava LambeDunville, NewfoundlandHabitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador
Julia LovendinoGrande Prairie, AlbertaHabitat for Humanity Edmonton


Runners up - Grade 6

Sheaden KissKingsville, OntarioHabitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex
Ann WangVancouver, British ColumbiaHabitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver
Noya ZuberiScarborough, OntarioHabitat for Humanity GTA

To read all the winning entries, please visit meaningofhome.ca.

The Meaning of Home contest would not be possible without the generous support of founding sponsor, Genworth Canada.

"The Meaning of Home contest encourages students to become engaged and compassionate community members. At the same time, the program educates and inspires them to learn about the issue of affordable housing. Since this contest started back in 2007, we've provided over $1.2 million in funding to Habitat for Humanity nation-wide to empower youth to change this world for the better”, said Stuart Levings, President and CEO, Genworth Canada.

In addition we appreciate the support of our new sponsors, awards sponsor Revera Inc. and judging sponsor The Silver Hotel Group.

Habitat for Humanity’s model of affordable homeownership helps families in need of housing buy their own home. Habitat homeowners volunteer up to 500 hours and pay an affordable mortgage geared to their income, helping them build a strong foundation and the financial stability to help plan for their children’s futures.

About founding sponsor: Genworth MI Canada Inc.

Genworth MI Canada Inc. (TSX: MIC) through its subsidiary, Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada ("Genworth Canada"), is the largest private residential mortgage insurer in Canada. The Company provides mortgage default insurance to Canadian residential mortgage lenders, making homeownership more accessible to first-time homebuyers. Genworth Canada differentiates itself through customer service excellence, innovative processing technology and a robust risk management framework. For more than two decades, Genworth Canada has supported the housing market by providing thought leadership and a focus on the safety and soundness of the mortgage finance system. As at March 31, 2019, Genworth Canada had $6.9 billion total assets and $4.1 billion total shareholders’ equity. Find out more at www.genworth.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 54 local Habitats working in every province and territory, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca.

For more information please contact:

Sarah Austin, Senior Manager, Communications Habitat for Humanity Canada
Email: saustin@habitat.ca
Phone: 416-644-0988/1-800-667-5137 x302