Last night, myself and over 1000 other business leaders took part in the 9th annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout. I rugged up and bedded down with nothing more than a sheet of cardboard and a sleeping bag for warmth.
While the experience only gave me a glimpse of what it is like to be homeless in Australia, even though I had a personal experience of ‘homelessness” in my earlier life, it certainly was an eye opener about many unresolved social issues for people experiencing homelessness.
This morning, I get to go home, jump into a hot shower and see my loving family but sadly this is not the case for over 105,000 people who have nowhere to call home any day of the year. I learned last night that these people are not “the homeless” – they are just like you and me – mums, dads and even small children. I had to do something about it and I hope you will too. Someone did that for me at age 12. Intervention at an early stage can prevent homelessness, and can prevent the downward spiral of poverty.
A pressing issue is access to affordable housing, and for these people to regain some normality and routine as they rebuild their lives.
Please find out more on www.ceosleepout.org.au.and you can still sponsor me at http://www.ceosleepout.org.au/ceos/nsw-ceos/caroline-hong-ch-asia-australia I can assure you that the funds we raise will allow Vinnies to provide real solutions for people without a home.
A BIG THANK YOU to all my supporters and donors for helping me raise awareness and necessary funds for Vinnies homeless services. Not a one night stand. Donations for the CEO Sleepout fund raising for homeless services will be kept open until August 2014. Log on here. http://www.ceosleepout.org.au/ceos/nsw-ceos/caroline-hong-ch-asia-australia
Thank you also to all the staff, volunteers, corporate partners & everyone who cared & noticed!
Congratulations to George Frazis (St George Bank) & Holly Kramer (Best & Less) for winning the 2014 top fundraisers Award.
Everyone’s efforts have made a difference to the lives of people experiencing homelessness. Thank you!
Next year 2015 is the 10th year of the CEO Sleepout event. We are aiming to raise $10million and there are 100,000 reasons why more CEOs and business and community leaders should participate.
2014 Vinnies CEO Sleepout Ambassadors
2014, 20 June Daily Telegraph “Pitching in for the Homeless” (Correction: “At age 12” , luckily not “for 12 years”)
2013 Vinnies CEO Sleepout I did it again!
2012 Vinnies CEO Sleepout – You Tube Video (featuring Constance, Seal & Dr Caroline Hong)
2012 Fairfax Australian Financial Review A Rough Business
2012 Vinnies CEO Sleepout -You Tube Video Bench Diaries
2011 Vinnies CEO Sleepout glimpses You Tube Video (Featuring Tony Stuart, John Hartigan, Caroline Hong & Robbie Minnicola)
2010 Vinnies CEO Sleepout – year of flashback sitting on the Bench Diaries (Videos by Staging Connections not available. If anyone has a copy, please let me know)