CEO Sleepout - Thanks to all for your support - Over $6,000 raised!!

By Stuart Dickinson on
Moments of Dislodgement The phrase was used by a lady who had experienced homelessness, a former Vinnies client, called Megan. She had borrowed it from someone else. It perfectly summed up the message though. Many Australian's experience homelessness. It begins with a moment of dislodgement and the downstream and flow on effects can be devastating.

How does it happen? Watch this fantastic animation to see it..

Homelessness has an image. It is an image stereotyped to older men. It is not true. Over 44% of Australian's homeless today are women. A staggering number are children.
The Vinnies CEO Sleepout was intended to raise awareness in the community and raise funds. In five years of existence 3000 CEO's have taken part, almost $13 million has been raised. Lives have been altered for the better. I saw it happen myself on Thursday night, in more ways than one.

One of our Oxygen team suggested I take part in the 2012 Sleepout and after some reflection decided to give it a go. Fundraising to sleep rough, seemed like an interesting proposition, I had some concept of the cause but not true understanding. I am glad I did it. The preparedness of you all, my friends, colleagues and linked in buddies to raise over $6000 blew me away.

During the buildup as I received a great amount of support. I also received some truly amazing notes. Some from our own Oxygen team telling me of their involvement supporting Vinnies and the work they were involved in. I was touched before I even got to Thursday night.
Thursday dawned clear and coldish. It stayed that way despite the best efforts of some in our Sydney office to encourage the rain to come.
With more wet weather gear and thermals than could possibly be necessary  I arrived at Carraigeworks unsure of what to expect. Induction happened quickly and before I knew it I had a piece of cardboard positioned between Frank from Readsoft and Shane from SAP ready to go.

After a dinner of soup and bread their were a number of stories from people who had experienced and were currently homeless. During some moments I am sure their was not a dry eye in the room. Then it was our turn, in groups, to work out how we could help and make a commitment to that. To doing something.
By 11.30 it was bed time. Outside. No roof. A wall to lean against. A cold wind. It was a fitful sleep on concrete. I had more gear to keep me warm than you can shake a stick at and I knew I was safe. I can only begin to contemplate what it must be like for real.

By 8am the next morning my life had resumed. I had keys in my pocket, a door to unlock, a home to go to.

Thank you to everyone for your support.