CEOs swap suits for sleeping bags

More than 320 CEOs, including several heads of grocery, convenience and supplier businesses, will be sleeping out in Sydney next Thursday to raise funds for homelessness as part of the 2016 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

The annual event offers CEOs a small glimpse into the life of those experiencing homelessness on the streets. Over the past 10 years, it has raised more than $30 million to support Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul Society) homeless services.

Senior figures from ALDI, Metcash, NightOwl Convenience, Coca-Cola Amatil and Red Bull Australia are among those signed up to participate in the event.

H2Coco CEO David Freeman will also take part. He says it will be his first time, but not his last.

“For years I’ve supported homelessness and attempted to assist the less fortunate by ways of serving food to them on Tuesdays with the Appliances Online team at Birds of Passage, or providing work for them around my old office when located on Oxford Street, Sydney,” he said. “I gave them the time of day and through that I realised they are genuine people. When I saw the CEO Sleepout, I thought it was a great way to continue helping these genuine people.”

Mr Freeman hopes to raise $5,000 through his first participation and plans to increase this target at future events.

“It’s not a huge amount and only requires 50 work companions, suppliers or retailers to donate $100 each,” he said.

“Thus far, all funds raised have been through my H2Coco database, spreading the word and support for the cause. In the final days, I’ll be calling on close business connections who know me personally and believe in the cause to support me.

“I’ve taken the time to have a conversation with multiple homeless people and listened to their stories, some of which are surprising. If you can, please support the cause and donate using this link.”

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