This is the 3rd year I have been involved with the VInnies CEO Sleepout. At Merici College, we have been doing it for longer with the students in the old quad on a cold winter's night.
Raising awareness and funds is one of the many ways we can make a difference and contribute to the well-being and needs of others. We are very fortunate here at Merici, all of our basic needs are met, along with the support of a loving and caring family (which can take many forms from foster carers to grandparents) and we have the amazing opportunity to learn in a wonderful schooling environment, surrounded by supportive and expert teachers.
Each year, the mercury has dipped below minus 2 degrees and last Thursday night it was minus 4.9 at the Canberra Airport Hangar. Although I am only out there for one night - it is enough for me to fire up and share about the stories we hear of those who are homeless in Canberra or surrounding NSW and how we can ensure we contribute to make it possible for those to receive support, assistance and care.
If we do nothing for those in our local or global community, then we stand for nothing. The number of women and children who are left homeless due to domestic violence is increasing. I find this situation just unacceptable.
I would like to thank everyone for their support, again I surpassed my target.
On Friday morning, after the CEO Sleepout it took about 3 hours to thaw out. I was lucky! This was after a hot shower, heating in my home and car and sitting in the sun during a meeting at Catholic Education. I cannot even begin to imagine what life would be like on the streets or surviving in a car. How could you get up, feel refreshed, and try to find work or have to deal with agencies where you have to beg for assistance. It would be a cycle that is hard to break.
A special thanks to all at St Vincent de Paul Society and all the work they do for homelessness and those who are in need of emergency care.
I wish our students a night out on Thursday that they will remember, so that their compassion and empathy for those in need continues to grow.
Even though it is over, you can continue to donate via my page: https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/loretta-wholley/canberra