170 of Canberra’s business and community leaders together raised over $770,000 for Vinnies programs and services by sleeping out at Canberra Airport.
Temperatures dropped below freezing, and CEOs experienced the difficulties of sleeping on cold, hard concrete with only three sheets of cardboard and a sleeping bag to protect them from the elements.
Managing Director of Canberra Airport, and the host of the evening, Stephen Byron was the highest fundraiser of the year, and indeed the highest fundraiser ever in Canberra having raised over $70,000.
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.
For the first time in Canberra, participants engaged in an interactive activity to ‘Walk a Mile in Their Shoes’, whereby they received a character card reflecting a persona of a Vinnies companion, and needed to negotiate a path through various services to receive assistance.
This role play allowed CEOs to better understand the multiple factors contributing to homelessness, and the complexities associated with breaking the cycle of poverty.
Some feedback from CEOs included,
- ‘Brilliant! Brings it all home and makes it real! Well done Vinnies!!’
- ‘Eye opening. Well done Vinnies for all the great work you do!’
- ‘Referral fatigue makes one angry about the system.’
- ‘Frustrating, humiliating, demeaning. Having to retell your story again. It was a relief to end up at Vinnies.’
It’s not too late to donate – fundraising will continue until the end of July. www.ceosleepout.org.au
24 June 2019