Ten-year-old Saanich resident Evan Papps won $5,000 for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter with his submission to a national poetry competition. Photo submitted

Saanich youth builds homes with words

1o-year-old Saanich boy wins $5,000 for Habitat for Humanity for his submission to poetry contest

“To me, home is not just a physical place. Home is a feeling.”

With words like these, 1o-year-old Saanich resident Evan Papps is helping to build homes in the Greater Victoria area, as he won $5,000 for Habitat for Humanity Victoria for his submission to Genworth’s Meaning of Home poetry contest.

Papps, who attends Grade 5 at Glenlyon Norfolk School, won the money for the local non-profit organization, by finishing as one of 11 runners-up. The winning entry, meanwhile, triggers a $50,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity. Genworth also donates $10 per entry, which adds up to more than $70,000.

Papps said the poem titled “The Feeling of Home” reflects his own feelings about home, which for him is more than just a collection of walls.

“I think it’s people supporting each other, and helping each other live and work together,” he said, in an interview last month. “It’s really important not just to have a home but to have people helping you and loving you. I think what I was trying to tell is that we are very lucky to have our homes, and we should be generous towards other people, who don’t have that.”

Papps, who also writes prose and plays the guitar, said his teacher alerted him to the national writing contest. As one of more than 7,000 entries, Papps faced astronomical odds, when he submitted in October of last year. But winning was only a secondary consideration for Papps, who said poetry offers him the opportunity to express himself in a unique manner.

“I think I will keep writing poems,” he said. “It has a rhythm to it, and it gives a me pattern.”

Papps also plans to remain active in the subject of his submission – housing. “I want to be an architectural engineer and building homes,” he said. “And it’s not just the actual walls – it’s more the feeling, the sense of community.”

Habitat for Humanity is free to use the money in any way it wishes, and Papps and his family plan to check out their work. In fact, Papps’ victory is not the first contribution that his family has made to the non-profit organization.

“We also as a family have donated a lot of things to Habitat for Humanity ReStore over the years, and purchased from the ReStore for our renovations,” said Papps’ mother Roman Johnston. “So it’s nice to support that organization.”

Johnston could not be more pleased that her son has continued the family tradition. If you live in beautiful city like Saanich in a wealthy country like Canada, it is important to remember that not everybody is as fortunate, she said.

“So I’m really proud of Evan for entering the contest and for articulating himself the way he did.”

Just Posted

Victoria’s deaf community advocates for different sign languages to be recognized on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Transport Canada announces funds for pollutant clean up in Victoria Park, removal of abandoned boats

Contaminants at Laurel Point Park will be removed starting at the end of September

Volunteers gather in Metchosin for B.C.’s 1st ever search and rescue joint training

Around 200 volunteers came out for the three-day training program

Moon Lantern festival to light up Gordon Head

Saturday night festival celebrates harvest moon, fall season

Police seek potential victims of bad ‘nanny’

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Most Read