TORONTO, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - Using poetic language to compare a homeless teen with one who has a comfortable home, Grade six student Karson Simpson will make the dream of homeownership a reality for a deserving Canadian family.

The Guelph, Ontario student won the grand prize in the fourth annual "Meaning of Home" national writing contest sponsored by Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada ("Genworth Financial Canada") in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada.

Selected from more than 2,400 submissions, Karson's winning essay earned her the ultimate prize: a $60,000 donation to help build a Habitat for Humanity Home in the region of her choice. Karson decided to donate the home to the Guelph Habitat affiliate.

Karson's essay used detailed imagery of warm beds and ratty old sleeping bags to contrast life in a comfortable family home with sleeping in a shelter. She wrote: "She wakes up and knows that if she didn't have her home, she wouldn't have much of anything at all."

The Meaning of Home contest was established in 2007 to raise awareness among students of the importance of having a home. Since its inception, $357,000 has been donated by Genworth Financial Canada to 23 Habitat for Humanity Canada affiliates. According to Habitat for Humanity statistics, four million Canadians are in need of decent, adequate housing. By putting pen to paper, students have the opportunity to express their feelings and to make a difference in their community.

"The quality of entries we received again this year demonstrates the high level of creativity and compassion found in the younger generation," said Peter Vukanovich, President and COO of Genworth Financial Canada. "The Meaning of Home contest empowers students from across Canada to use the importance of their words to give a family a home."

Congratulations also go out to the runners-up: Kevin from St. John's Newfoundland, Lucy Gay from Oakville Ontario, Margaret Ovenell from Vancouver BC, Tyler Gerke from Edmonton Alberta, Samuel Dion-Dundas from Longueuil Quebec.

The winning entry and runners-up were chosen by a panel of judges from a list of 24 semi-finalists. Genworth Financial Canada would like to thank the teachers and associations who helped to promote this contest in their classrooms helping to bring in a record number of entries.

To read all of the 24 winning entries, and for more information about the Meaning of Home Contest, please visit

About Habitat for Humanity Canada:

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC) is a national, non-profit organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. With the help of over 50,000 volunteers every year and 72 affiliate partners from coast to coast, HFHC's mission is to break the cycle of poverty through affordable housing and the promotion of home ownership.

Additional information about Habitat for Humanity Canada is available at

About Genworth Financial Canada:

Genworth Financial Canada, a subsidiary of Genworth MI Canada Inc. (TSX:MIC), has been the leading Canadian private residential mortgage insurer since 1995. Known as "The Homeownership Company", it provides default mortgage insurance to Canadian residential mortgage lenders that enables low down payment borrowers to own a home more affordably and stay in their homes during difficult financial times. Genworth Financial Canada combines technological and service excellence with risk management expertise to deliver innovation to the mortgage marketplace. As of September 30, 2010, Genworth MI Canada had $5.3 billion in total assets and $2.6 billion in shareholders' equity. Based in Oakville, Ontario, the Company employs approximately 265 people across Canada.

Additional information about Genworth Financial Canada is available at

SOURCE Genworth Financial Canada

For further information:

For additional information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Anita DiPaolo-Booth
Genworth Financial Canada
Strategic Marketing Leader
905.287.5394 or


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