CEOS SWAP BOARD ROOM FOR CARDBOARD BOXES IN SUPPORT OF THE HOMELESS

CEOS SWAP BOARD ROOM FOR CARDBOARD BOXES IN SUPPORT OF THE HOMELESS

HUNDREDS of Australian CEO's will be going from the boardroom to a cardboard box next month at the St Vincent de Paul annual CEO Sleepout to raise funds and awareness for the homeless.

CEO's, business people and government leaders around the country will be roughing it with nothing but a sheet of cardboard for a bed at 11 major cities on the night of 22 June.

In 2016, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout event attracted more than 1400 leaders and raised more than $1 million, a sum that Vinnies CEO Peter Maher says went a long way in the lives of many.

"The funds raised make a real difference to the lives of those experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness," he says.

"While you sleep, more than 105,000 Australians have no place to call home."

Even though Sleepout fundraising is still in relatively early stages for 2017, more than 900 CEOs and 2,400 total supporters have already raised more than $380,000.

Current top contributors include Melbourne's Vedran Drakulic, CEO of Gandel Philanthropy, who has raised more than $20,000 and Sydney's Andrew Gibson, CEO of Claude Group, who has raised more than $16,000.

Brisbane's Jon Stretch of ERM Power is also currently in the top 10 fundraisers, having contributed more than $7,400 toward an ambitious personal target of $50,000.

In Queensland, more than 44,000 Queenslanders sought assistance from a specialised homelessness service like Vinnies in the past year.

Last year's Sleepout funds have already been used in Brisbane to develop a program and partnership to support women and children experiencing family violence and at risk of homelessness.

Suitable accommodation is being planned for a haven where women fleeing abusive relationships can receive counselling and support.

Maher says more than 9,700 Brisbane residents are homeless, and that the CEOs sleeping under the Story Bridge on 22 June will be doing so in solidarity for those people.

"Sleeping under the Story Bridge will be a real reality check, and an experience of what it can be like to be homeless," says Maher.

"Together, we can help provide crucial support for people at risk of experiencing homelessness."

Other cities where the CEO Sleepout is happening this year include Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Newcastle and Canberra.

To register for the CEO Sleepout or nominate a friend, click here to visit the page.

To see which CEOs are leading the fundraising effort and to show your support, click here to visit the official CEO Sleepout website.

Business News Australia

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