This Thursday night I’ll be joining nearly 200 other CEO’s and business leaders from Brisbane to sleep outdoors at Suncorp Stadium for this years Vinnies CEO Sleepout. I’ve slept out with Vinnies twice before in 2012 and 2013 (last year I was overseas with Sascha at the Girl Up Summit in Washington so couldn’t be there) and I’m looking forward to being part of this really well organised event again this year.
The statistics around homelessness in Australia are really confronting, with over 105 000 Australians with no regular night time residence. In Queensland, 27% of the homeless population are children. No one chooses to be homeless, children least of all.
Through my prior participation in CEO Sleepout I’ve been able to gain a deeper understanding of how people can fall into the cycle of homelessness. A common misconception is that drugs or alcohol are always involved, but loss of income or family breakdowns are just as likely to have been the thing that has caused people to lose their homes and end up on the streets. Each year at the Sleepout a number of people share their stories as to how they ended up on the streets, and how the support from Vinnies allowed them to break the cycle and regain a place to call home. These stories are incredibly powerful, and really reinforce that one night’s discomfort sleeping on cardboard is a small price to pay to raise funds to deliver this much needed assistance.
I’d appreciate any support you could give this very worthy cause, knowing that it is going to an organisation who are doing so much good and making a difference to so many lives. Last year alone Vinnies helped nearly 300 000 Queenslanders in need, and they can’t do it without our dollars.
I know sleeping outdoors in Brisbane is not going to be quite as tough as the conditions friends who are participating in the Canberra event will experience, but its all relative, and I’m hoping Thursday night will be particularly chilly so you’ll all feel compelled to dig deeper while sitting at home all warm and toasty thinking of me and my cardboard bed!
You can donate here, and there’ll be plenty of pics coming through on my social media feeds on Thursday night to make sure it doesn’t slip your mind! Thanks again to those who have already supported me and this fantastic cause not only this year but in prior years, I really appreciate it.