Storytelling school

Storytelling contest to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity Region of Waterloo

What does home mean to you?

That’s the question local students were asked to ponder as part of the Meaning of Home contest benefiting Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region.

The answers came in the form of a story or a poem. The national competition ended in February.

“For me, home is a place where I can feel safe and I can trust the people around me,” said Kody Harding, a Grade 6 student at Sheppard Public School in Kitchener.

Harding and his classmates were among more than 650 entries from the region.

Each entry results in a $10 donation, with winners receiving big grants for their local Habitat for Humanity.

A sign points to a Habitat for Humanity construction site in Waterloo Region. (Heather Senoran/CTV Kitchener)

“We have helped over 140 families locally since our inception,” said Philip Mills, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region. “We continue to support 80 of them today.”

Mills said the money raised will be used to complete their construction in Kitchener on Kehl Street, a 45-unit townhouse started in 2013. Habitat for Humanity is also still working on another construction in Cambridge.

“There’s a really good time between asking young people what a home means to you and when we ask that question, they can help someone else have a home. I think it’s a really good mix of opportunities,” Mills said.

Local students said they learned a lot from sharing their stories and hope they, in turn, can help others who need a safe and affordable place to call home.

“To me, a home doesn’t mean a home, it means a place where you can be happy,” said Emily Paulin, a 6th grade student.

“Some people don’t have homes and I think this contest is amazing because we can actually give people homes where they can feel happy and safe,” Paulin explained.