Our Vinnies CEO Sleepout Experience
Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. That's why we took part in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout this year. We were amazed by the amount our clients, friends, families and colleagues donated to the cause. Our fundraising efforts have helped provide:
109 individual support programs
and 1145 meals.
Here are recaps of the night from our Directors:
Three Y Partners colleagues and myself attended the Vinnies CEO sleepout on the night of Thursday 20th June. I can honestly say that I learned a great deal from the experience.
Early in the evening we were provided with a meal at Café Outside the Square. This organisation does amazing work feeding some of Adelaide's homeless and also providing training opportunities for homeless people – helping them get back into the workforce. After that, we returned to the carpark where we would spend the night. Vinnies took the opportunity to provide us with more information regarding some of the amazing work that they do.
But there was no escape from the fact that the night was freezing. Whilst we were hearing stories from people that had received direct, life changing support from Vinnies, and while we were listening to people and organisations that provide greatly needed assistance to Vinnies, we sat shivering in the cold. When it was time for sleep we were provided with a cardboard mattress, and the lights were turned off. The cold hard concrete, and freezing air, made me acutely aware of how awful it is sleeping rough. Even just for one night.
I simply cannot stomach the thought of my wife or kids having to suffer homelessness, and yet this is the everyday reality for so many South Australians.
I sincerely encourage everyone who has an opportunity assist Vinnies in supporting our homeless – please do what you can. It may be through spending time volunteering, or simply donating clothes that don't fit anymore. If we all make an effort, collectively we can have an enormous impact.
Finally, thank you again to all our clients, friends, relatives, Y Partners team members, and the Count Charitable Foundation for their generous support. Your donations greatly exceeded our expectations, and these funds will make a huge difference to the lives of so many South Australians.
Along with almost 100 other business leaders from Adelaide, I had the "privilege" of sleeping rough for the recent Vinnies CEO sleepout. The event was held in a carpark, and so whilst we did have the benefit of a roof over our heads for the evening, we did experience some of the conditions that those sleeping rough experience on a regular, if not daily, basis – i.e. the extreme cold conditions and sleeping on a concrete floor (albeit with a half-inch cardboard "mattress").
During the evening we heard from several speakers including other organisations that work with Vinnies, and also from a couple of people who were homeless and have been assisted by Vinnies to get their lives back on track. This really opened up my eyes to the plight of the homeless and the fantastic work that organisations such as Vinnies do to help the vulnerable in our community, and I would certainly encourage everyone to do whatever they can to assist Vinnies or other like organisations with the work they do in this space. That could be through donations of money, unwanted goods for them to sell, volunteering time, or by visiting a Vinnies store for your next purchase.
An important message that was conveyed by Vinnies is that sleeping rough is not generally a "choice" that these people make, but something that has quite often been forced onto them through no fault of their own, such as fleeing a situation of domestic violence, and so on. They exist to give a "hand up" not a "hand out".
Thank you once again to all of our fantastic clients and colleagues who supported our fundraising efforts as I am sure these funds will be well spent on programs run by Vinnies to help many vulnerable South Australians get their lives back on track.
It was an interesting night with a variety of speakers representing Vinnies and the people that they support. It's a very complex issue with many causes including substance abuse, family violence, mental and physical health and other issues all contributing to the number of people sleeping "rough" in our community.
One night in the cold, sleeping on a concrete floor was not a big ask when you consider what they must be going through in their lives. It has certainly made me view the people I see on the street a little differently and I'm now likely to engage with a smile and a few words as I walk by.
I hope our contribution helps support these people and make their lives a little easier.
It was great to be able to help make a difference in the lives of Australian's experiencing homelessness and the mental health issues that can go along with homelessness. One of the best parts of the night for me was to get a better understanding of how Vinnies and their volunteers help and support some of Australia's most vulnerable people. They have an amazing group of people with such kind giving hearts working/volunteering for them.
We are all aware of homelessness and some of the issues, however until you've been through that you can't really appreciate what it's like. They say giving rewards the giver as much as it rewards the receiver. Particularly when it's your time that you give, not just necessarily money.
It's easy for us to give money but giving time is much more impactful on the receiver and the giver. I would encourage everyone to give up more of their time to events like this. I would like to thank everyone for their support.