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Mortgage Insurer + Habitat for Humanity = Match Made at Home

Just yesterday we talked about mortgage insurance, mortgage insurers, and the bad name they can sometimes get. Yes this insurance can add up to exorbitant fees and costs, and the Crown corporation has been limiting the amount it will allow banks to hand down to their consumers. But one mortgage insurer in Canada – Genworth Canada – is doing something that’s all about consumers, helping build homes, and finding out just what the word ‘home’ means to today’s youth.

They’re doing it through The Meaning of Home Contest, a program that was launched in 2007 to instill a sense of home in today’s youth and to help Habitat for Humanity build even more homes across the country. The concept is simple. Students in grades 4-6 across the nation can write an essay or create a video explaining just what exactly the word ‘home’ means to them. After submitting their text or video entry online, Genworth will donate $5 for every entry they receive. The winner of the contest wins a $60,000 donation to the Habitat for Humanity affiliate of their choice, plus a pizza party for their whole school.

“Habitat for Humanity is a natural fit for Genworth Canada because we both share the same level of commitment towards enabling affordable home ownership for Canadians,” says Linda Belanger, Community Relations Leader for Genworth Canada. “We launched The Meaning of Home contest to help raise awareness among today’s youth of the true value of a home and also teach them that their actions – no matter how small – can make a difference.

“While our support for Habitat extends far beyond The Meaning of Home, this contest is the highlight of our partnership and something we are extremely proud of. Since launching in 2007, our employees have read more than 15,000 entries and we never cease to be amazed by the inspiring and thoughtful words of these young authors.”

Last year the contest received 5,000 entries, raising $25,000 for the cause. And last year also showed just how much the program was growing, receiving 55 per cent more entries than the year before. Since the contest began, it’s raised a total of $570,000 for Habitat. But the program is about even more than just raising money for a good cause and giving those without a home to call their own.

“The Meaning of Home contest does more than provide financial support to build Habitat homes,” says Kevin Marshman, President and CEO of Habitat of Humanity Canada. “By empowering children to make a difference in their communities, this contest is helping us raise awareness among today’s youth of the importance of having a safe place to call home.”

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