Monday, February 27, 2012

CEOs Sleeping Out For Homeless

CEO’s with Soul is a one night Sleepout at Tamburlaine Winery in the Hunter Valley on Friday 9th March 2012.

Name : Vicki de Carle

What's your connection to CEOs with Soul: 

Through some friends I found out about Soul Café and their desperate need for funding for a new kitchen to continue their amazing work. We discussed ways to help them raise awareness and funds and the idea for an executive sleepout evolved. As I have been involved in a sleepout on the Central Coast we thought this was a good idea for the Newcastle Hunter region. I am helping to organise the night.

What's CEOs with Soul all about? 

 CEO’s with SOUL is an Executive Sleepout where business people get an opportunity to experience a little of what homeless people go through every night, sleeping rough. The experience for a business person who gets to go to a warm bed, shower and food can be quite life changing. We can truly never know the hardships faced by homeless people but this experience will provide some empathy and understanding. It is not a career choice to be homeless, people end up in this situation through a variety of problems. By raising a relatively small amount of money, the business people spread the word as they ask people to sponsor them, which raises awareness and funds.

Many of us walk by a homeless person and look the other way because we don’t understand, we find it confronting and generally we don’t quite know how to react. The best way to react is to support the organisations such as Soul Café who provide support way beyond the food they provide.

We encourage business people to take up the challenge, raise some money and step a little out of their comfort zone and sleep rough for one night! It will also be a great networking opportunity, lots of business people and even a politician or 2 with no distractions for 12 hours.

How did it start?   
We were throwing around some ideas about raising awareness and funds and it is so obvious that if people can experience sleeping rough, they will want to help as they will have first hand understanding of the issues of not having a roof over your head.

What is the outcome that this event is intended to achieve? 
 Money and awareness!

Do we have any high profile people who will be there?  
Absolutely, we have Tim Owen MP, Steve Thompson, Regional Manager Westpac along with some other high flyers of the district. We still have room for lots more

What's the benefit to companies to get involved? 
The benefits to the companies is that their managers get to know their district a little better and have a better understanding of philanthropy from a hands on view. Many of us go about our daily life, embroiled in day to day issues of our immediate business. Learning more about your community can only benefit local businesses.
Managers should be aware, and we will be pointing this out at CEO’s with SOUL, that many of their workers are only 2 pay packets away from potential homelessness. It can take only one major illness, one unexpected job loss for a family to become homeless. The average Australian family does not have financial reserves to survive for more than a few weeks with no income.
It can only be a good thing if our business leaders understand their community, the stresses on their workers and are prepared to step a little outside their comfort zone for the benefit of those less fortunate.

How will the money raised be used? 

The money will be used fitting out the new kitchens and to provide the ongoing services that SOUL Café provides. Unfortunately it is never enough for the need.

How do people register?  
You can register online at

What other ways can people help? 

Convince their boss to register and sponsor him or her to sleepout. Challenge them to step outside their comfort zone. You can also go to and give a one off donation, search for CEO’s with SOUL and follow the instructions. Or email me at

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