CEOs from around Australia were asked to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit to find a way to reduce homelessness at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout 2011 whilst their collective effort raised $3.8 million for St Vincent de Paul’s homeless services.
The Vinnies CEO Sleepout began as a local community venture in Sydney’s Parramatta in 2006. Since then, the event has raised important funds for Vinnies Homeless Services across NSW. In 2010 the event was launched nationally and exceeded expectations, attracting almost 700 CEO’s in seven cities nationally and raising $2.9 million to directly assist people experiencing homelessness.
The annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout Event now raisies millions for homelessness nationally.
Amongst the event held at Luna Park, Sydney was Tony Chamberlain, managing director of Staging Connections. Involved for the third year in a row, he believes business leaders first need to be educated about the problem of homelessness before they can inspire action from their communities.
“This innovative format sees hundreds of business leaders coming together to gain just an insight into what it is like to sleep rough but also learn more about homelessness.
“Having a simple meal of soup and bread and hearing first-hand the stories of those who have been helped by Vinnies is a very powerful way of educating this group of prominent people,” said Chamberlain.
The aim of the event is to not only collect funds but inspire action from the community, to work on eradicating homelessness.
A regular supporter of the event, Tony Chamberlain, managing director of Staging Connections
“To witness someone stand up in front of hundreds of people and speak openly about their plight and struggles was extremely powerful. No one couldn’t but be touched and inspired by their passion for life, courage and determination to give back.
“It will be impossible for anyone who participated in the CEO Sleepout to not want to do something – from buying an individual a meal, supporting charities who target the homeless right through to giving someone a job,” said Chamberlain.
Each CEO had the opportunity to also express their own thoughts and feelings on the night via the Staging Connections Bench Diaries. These video recordings of the business leaders’ were recorded all through the cold night. They not only document the affect the event had on its participants, but also the significant shift in perceptions and information on homelessness.
You can view the Staging Connections Bench Diaries by clicking here.