Vital People: Students asked to write about the meaning of home for Habitat for Humanity contest

WatchWhat does home mean to you? Habitat for Humanity contest asks grade 4/5/6 students to share ideas. Tess van Straaten reports.

Home can have many different meanings to different people, and Habitat for Humanity wants to hear what it means for students.

For 10-year-old Milo Dunn, it means he can show his love of Transformers.

“Since I moved into Habitat, I have tons of room to display all of my action figures,” the grade five student says.

Milo also loves his new Habitat for Humanity Victoria home.

“I think it’s really nice!” says Milo. “I get to play with all of my new friends, there’s a basketball court and there’s a swing. It’s really good!”

The family of four had been renting a small, two-bedroom basement suite that was less than 700-square-feet.

“It was really hard, the kids shared a room and they couldn’t spread their toys out and couldn’t have friends over very often,” explains Christi Dunn, Milo’s mom and a new Habitat homeowner in North Saanich.

After being chosen for the North Saanich Habitat development, and putting in hundreds of hours of sweat equity, Milo’s family has an affordable, interest-free mortgage with Habitat.

“It’s super clichĂ©, but it’s changed our lives — like, measurably changed our lives,” Christi says. “We don’t have to worry about our landlord selling our house out from under us.”

Changing lives and building a better future for families is what Habitat is all about.

“Since 1990, Habitat Victoria has built 34 homes and served 34 families and we do that through the generous donations of the public, through the funds raised in our ReStores, and it’s an amazing way to support the community,” says Jenessa Mattson, Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s marketing and communications manager.

Habitat Victoria is also hoping to benefit from a national student writing contest

It’s the 15th year for the Meaning of Home contest, which is asking students in grades four, five and six to write about what home means to them.

“For each entry, a $10 donation (from contest sponsor Sagan) will go toward the local Habitat for the student who enters the contest and there are also grand prizes — a $30,000 donations towards a local Habitat, a pizza party for the class, and an iPad for the top three winners,” Jenessa says.

For Milo and Christi, the meaning of home is simple.

“It means a safe place where you don’t have to feel really stressed,” says Milo.

“Home to me is a place where we can feel safe, feel warm, feel accepted,” Christi adds. “I think it’s mostly the security of just knowing this is where our kids will grow up. We’re going to make lots of memories in here.”

Contest submissions are being accepted until Feb. 18.

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Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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