Vinnies CEO Sleepout 2019

Another cold night warms our hearts.

Last Thursday Keeva joined about 300 CEO’s for Vinnies 2019 CEO Sleepout in Sydney. It was as reported, absolutely freezing. Like last year, it was also a poignant reminder of how hard life is for hundreds of thousands of Australians who are homeless, or at risk.

Here’s what she had to say:

Working with Vinnies is always such an honour, and it’s wonderful that our community helped us be able to give back. It’s why, first, I want to say a big thank you to every person who helped us raise more than $5,600 for the thousands of Australians at risk of homelessness. 

Feeling good at the start of the night!

On the night itself we heard their stories, which varied from a refugee who was fleeing sexual violence in her home, to a mother and daughter whose tenancy expired leaving them in a car for weeks, waiting for a vacancy. There was the one-time successful business owner who succumbed to alcoholism, and a multitude of stories of domestic violence and sickness.

These stories are never easy to hear, but it becomes so much harder if we don’t experience them to remember that this is the daily reality for so many in our lucky country—116,000 people will be homeless tonight. 

But lucky, many of us are—especially the “CEO’s” who filled White Bay Terminal on Thursday night. In our state-of-the-art thermals, we felt a sliver of discomfort for a few hours. Giving us just enough time to think, reflect and remember what matters most.

After the official interactions ended, I spent the seven hours on the cardboard thinking long and hard about my own journey, and where it might be headed next. Amidst the cacophony of snores, there was enough space for me to contemplate how I’d found myself on this particular piece of cardboard.

There have of course been the university degrees and the formative years in advertising and media, followed by the starting of my own company nearly ten years ago. None of it linear. All of it filled with a persistent worry of ‘what next.’

But, looking back, it’s clear that worry was fruitless. So, what then to the future?

Well, all I can tell you at this stage is that the ‘luck’ I feel to have a home, security, an education and resources is going to drive me to push a lot harder for brands and causes that are for purpose.

As I rolled up my sleeping bag at 6am, having not slept a wink, I realised that not only am I very, very lucky, but I have an opportunity here to share our creative intelligence as an agency with the world. By doing so, we can help more businesses that have a purpose—who are actively solving the world’s ‘to-do’ list, carry their message, grow their reach and have a much greater impact.

Too many people are struggling just to eat and sleep safe. I may not be able to solve these problems, but by using our skills, I now know Quip can be a real asset to the people who can.

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