CEOs will sleep rough tonight to raise money for homelessness

CEOs will sleep rough tonight to raise money for homelessness
Business leaders around the country will tonight take warm clothes, their sleeping bags and sheets of cardboard to city centres in a bid to raise awareness about homelessness.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is still about $700,000 shy of meeting last year's donations of $6.9 million and still has the goal of raising $7.1 million.

The 2018 event was able to fund almost two million individual support programs for the homeless, almost 700,000 beds and more than 1.5 million meals.

Karl Brown, founder of Brisbane-based InStyle Solar, says freezing for a night is a small sacrifice to make even a small difference.

"We are supposed to be the lucky country, and for many of us, Australia is," says Brown, who has raised more than $10,000 for the cause.

"However, events like Vinnies CEO Sleepout bring some of the main issues facing our country to the front of mind because unless you live in major city centres you don't see homelessness daily."

Last year Brown became ill three days out from the event and couldn't attend. This was communicated to all his sponsors and they still donated to the cause.

"It's important all successful companies give back to the local community. This time, our efforts can help homelessness. Last time, our efforts helped the Townsville flood relief," he says.

"The fact is, we are nothing without the support of the community and that is why it is important to help where we can."

Another Brisbane-based executive, Dan Holden of HoldenCAPITAL, found out about the initiative through Business News Australia's Young Entrepreneur Awards network.

"I'm excited. I think it'll be pretty cold but worthwhile," says Holden, who has so far raised $5,400.

"It's definitely brought homelessness up in conversation a lot since I've been telling people about it, and I've had some interesting conversations."

Nick Reade of BankSA in Adelaide has raised the highest amount so far at $186,590, followed by Vedran Drakulic OAM of Gandel Philanthropy in Melbourne ($179,094), Jon Stretch of ERM Power in Brisbane ($105,831), Stuart Tonkin of Northern Star Resources in Perth ($88,427) and Stephen Byron of Canberra Airport ($68,335).

In terms of teams, The CEO Institute NSW has raised the most at $115,008, followed by ANZ Victoria ($103,339) and the Vinnies NSW Executive Team ($95,345).

Related stories: Leaders and entrepreneurs band together to aid the homeless

Matthew Kratiuk's journey from homelessness to marketing executive

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