Virtual NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout Defies COVID with Record Result
30 August 2021
The NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout has achieved a record result with $250,000 – and counting – raised to support vulnerable individuals in communities across the state.
More than 220 participants took part on the night of Friday 27 August with funds raised supporting local Vinnies services and programs in Albury, Armidale, Central Coast, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Maitland, Murrumbidgee, Southern Highlands, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga and Western Sydney.
Originally set to take place as an in-person event, the rising number of COVID-19 cases saw the sleepout adapt to a virtual format with participants gaining an insight into homelessness and hardship at home in backyards, cars and couches while taking part in an online live-stream.
Jack de Groot, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, was delighted by the outstanding result given the challenges faced throughout the state due to the coronavirus delta variant.
“We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support shown by everyone who took part and those who donated across the state,” said Mr de Groot.
“The past few months have been the toughest test we have faced since the pandemic began last year; we will be able to assist many vulnerable people and families with food, clothing, household bills, accommodation and much more thanks to the funds raised.”
“This result is testament to the generosity of people willing to help one another in times of hardship,” said Brooke Simmons, Vinnies NSW Vice President Social Justice.
“If people are struggling to get by, they can always turn to Vinnies for help on 13 18 12 in their times of need.”
In the past financial year, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW members assisted 35,000 people with $7.7 million in financial and material assistance. Approximately 49% of people seeking assistance were provided with food, while 55% experienced hardship with the cost of housing.
The NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout follows on from the record result of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, which raised a national total on $9.3 million in June.
Donations to the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout remain open until the end of September. To donate, visit. vinnies.org.au/communitysleepout.
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