Successful Sleepout!

I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU!!! to everyone who donated money, good wishes and support to me, and to the Canberra Community Sleep Out last Friday night. I am very grateful for you being in my life!

I was really humbled by the lovely people who donated money from $3 to $159 – whatever they could afford or had spare in their pocket and in the end I raised $1,277 which was really awesome and and way over my target amount of $700!

Someone mentioned that they heard over the announcements (I didn’t hear it) that I was in the Top 10 individual fundraisers. What an awesome little community of people I know! So thank you all again as you helped to bring the tally to help others, to the amazing overall total of just over $103,000 !!! This is from all the fundraising groups and individuals – whiopen hands givingch is a fantastic result. So that was thanks to all you generous people who helped out. The money will be divided equally between Communities@Work and the St Vincent De Paul of Canberra and Goulburn.

Last year was the inaugural event with 100 brave souls enduring a surprise frost and minus 1 temperature! This year it grew to 700 people registering and about 600 sleeping out! So quite an exponential growth in awareness and generosity. It was great to see there were so many young people from uni, in school groups and young families. My friend was there with her 2 daughters (age 7 and 9) and said they girls both insisted on coming along, and their family had several really interesting conversations about life, hardships, not judging people etc that they would not necessarily have had if they hadn’t been involved.

My friend also helps in a shelter on Northbourne Ave, said she that each night there are about 30 – 40 homeless men sleeping rough in the bush on Black Mountain, and they come down each morning for coffee or breakfast at the shelter. That is only one area that she personally knows of, there are obviously more people on Mt Ainslie and all the other bushland and park areas around Canberra. So it is more of a problem than most of us have been aware of until now.

It sprinkled with light rain a few times during the night, but not enough to get wet. And it really made me think about the poor souls who have to do this every night, in all sorts of weather and they don’t have the comforting thought that they can go home the next night and to have a hot shower, clean clothes, food to eat, company and a dry, safe, warm bed to sleep in.

Events like this really do bring these bigger issues out into the minds and hearts of our community. It was a huge success in raising both awareness and much needed money for the homeless. Well done everyone involved.