Record-breaking CEO Sleepout raises over $585,000 for Canberrans in need

25 June 2018

140 of Canberra’s business and community leaders have together raised over $585,000 by sleeping out in the Garden of Australian Dreams at the National Museum of Australia on Thursday night. This is the largest sum ever raised by the Canberra CEO Sleepout.

Temperatures dropped below freezing, and CEOs experienced the difficulties of sleeping outside with only three sheets of cardboard and a sleeping bag to protect them from the elements.

The highest fundraiser of the night was Nick McDonald Crowley, Projector Director at Capital Estate Developments, who had raised $32,469 at the time and was rewarded with a pillow to help him get through the night. He had been challenged to do the Sleepout in a Pink Panther onesie, and in doing so earned a $5000 donation from a friend.

Mr McDonald Crowley was sleeping out for the first time. He was motivated to join after meeting a homeless man recently, and says homelessness is an issue that resonates with many people.

“People aren’t going to give you money just because you’re going out and getting cold. People recognise there is an issue there. And housing affordability is a big challenge for us as a society,” said Mr McDonald Crowley.

“This event was great for awareness, but it is not over. You can still donate to help families and people of all ages find a place to go and a meal to eat when they are facing homelessness.”

As well as raising funds, the annual event, held at capital cities all around Australia, aims to educate participants about the realities of homelessness, and living life below the poverty line.

Along with experiencing a night sleeping rough, CEOs also engaged in a workshop run by PwC aimed at providing tangible outcomes for supporting those at risk in our community, and heard from guest speakers; 2018 ACT Volunteer of the Year Natalie Wright, and 2018 ACT Young Australian of the Year, Zack Bryers.

The funds raised from the CEO Sleepout go directly to Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn programs that support people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. These include the Night Patrol Vans, St Nick’s Young Carers Program and Clemente – a free university program.

It’s not too late to donate – fundraising will continue until the end of August when a final tally will be revealed.

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