Cold for a cause

June 17, 2021 BY

Rach Brennan performing live for local diners. Photo: SUPPLIED

Business leaders from across the Geelong region will join hundreds of Victorian CEOs braving the cold for Vinnies’ annual Sleepout.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout raises money to provide people experiencing homelessness and insecure housing with access to food and accommodation.

This year’s event was set to take place in Geelong and Melbourne’s Docklands tonight (June 17) but will now be moved online for the second year since its inception in 2006.

The 230 participants will live broadcast themselves sleeping in their backyard, car or couch to comply with CovidSafe guidelines.

Last year, 223 participants raised $1.06 million to fund a soup van service, home visitation programs, education programs and other special efforts.

This year the participating CEO’s will aim raise $1.5 million to support Vinnies’ volunteer-run community services.

Among those participating in the winter sleep out is Barwon Water chair Joanne Plummer.

Ms Plummer has taken part in the CEO Sleepout for the last four years raising over $10,000 in total.

“Twenty years ago, it was unusual to see someone sleeping rough or being homeless,” she said.

“Now I see it almost every day on my travels and it bothers me that we as a society have become so desensitised to walking past someone in need.

“I too am guilty of this and hope by participating in the CEO Sleepout that I can not only raise some funds, but also raise awareness of why this happens and how we can all help.”

The City of Greater Geelong reported in April that 7,200 families were in need of housing across the region however only 3,300 properties were available.

At the time of print the CEO Sleepout had raised over $900,000.To donate head to the CEO Sleepout website.

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