Two students from Holy Family Elementary School in Paradise are runners-up in the national Meaning of Home contest.
Each student received $5,000 to donate to Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador.
The contest, run by Genworth Canada, had students write an essay about what home means to them, in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada.
Approximately 7,000 students from Grades 4-6 across Canada entered the contest, with one winner and 11 runners-up.
Holy Family Elementary had almost 200 students write for the contest.
Faith Ross, an 11-year-old Grade 6 student, was one of the two runner-ups from Holy Family Elementary.
She said with her essay, she wanted to say that every home is different.
“I just wanted to put it out there that not all homes are the same. Not all people have a mom and a dad in the same home. Sometimes they have different parents,” she said.
Faith said she is happy to be able to do something for a good cause.
“It feels really good and I just love helping other people,” she said.
Abigail Smith, a 10-year-old Grade 5 student, and the other runner-up from Holy Family Elementary, said she was surprised when she got the news.
“I was very surprised. I had completely forgotten about it until then,” she said.
Abigail sais she is happy to give back to the community.
“It feels really good to give it out to people who can use it for a home to live in,” she said.
Sandra Whiffen, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador, said she is proud of the work local students did.
“This is the highest amount of submissions Newfoundland and Labrador has ever had, so it’s continuing to grow,” Whiffen said.
Habitat for Humanity wanted to engage everyone, she said.
“The support from the volunteer community, teachers — everybody — makes it possible for us to reach our goals. We really appreciate everybody.”
Tonia Williams, account manager in Newfoundland and Labrador for Genworth Canada, said she is proud to see such interest from local students.
“When we found out we have two winners from this school, I was thrilled to come out. It’s a huge accomplishment,” Williams said.
Genworth Canada donated $10 for every essay entry, raising an additional $8,300 in Newfoundland and Labrador alone. With the entry donations plus the $10,000 combined winnings of the runners-up, Holy Family Elementary raised $12,000.
Nationally, the contest raised $170,000. The winner of the contest, a student from Winnipeg, won $50,000 for Habitat for Humanity.
On top of the monetary award, all 11 national runners-up won a pizza party for their classes.
Habitat for Humanity will use the money raised to fund building projects for families in need of housing.