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A NUMBER of our school leaders braved a cold night sleeping rough to raise much needed funds for St Vincent de Paul's annual CEO Sleepout.
Armed with just a sleeping bag, pieces of cardboard and the famous yellow beanie, they joined business, government and community leaders on one of the longest nights of the year to help change the lives of Australians experiencing homelessness.
On the Gold Coast, Marymount College, Burleigh Waters, Principal Chris Noonan, Deputy Principal, Geoff Browne; Assistant Principal Pastoral, Vivian Savage and APRE Dolores Maitland, raised more than $16,500 for the worthy cause.
On the Sunshine Coast, Our Lady of the Rosary School, Caloundra, Principal Dr Michael Stewart joined Associate Pastor Fr Josh Whitehead to raise more than $12,200 thanks to the generosity of their community.
Ms Savage said the Marymount community's support had been nothing short of amazing.
She said the whole experience was very humbling and made her realise that “we can all do more".
“As well as the fundraising side for essential services, we heard from people with lived experience of homelessness.
“We also learnt about the factors that contribute to the growing number of people facing housing instability, particularly in today's housing climate.
She said it was heart-breaking to hear people describe how they had been treated and the stigma attached to homelessness.
“I feel like we are now ambassadors for Vinnies and the Homeless and it was a privilege to answer student's questions in class and talk about what we had learnt from the night.
“We are already making plans for our 2022 sleepout," she said.
Marymount College, Burleigh Waters, Principal Chris Noonan, Deputy Principal, Geoff Browne; Assistant Principal Pastoral, Vivian Savage and APRE Dolores Maitland prepare for a night sleeping rough
Our Lady of the Rosary, Caloundra, Principal Michael Stewart said they had an incredible response from the community.
“Their donations exceeded all our expectations," he said.
“Thanks to the generosity of so many people, we managed to raise much needed funds for Vinnies to assist our brothers and sisters in Christ who aren't as fortunate as most of us."
He said he hoped the money they raised went to making a difference in the lives of Australians experiencing homelessness.
“We only slept rough for one night and it was not pleasant.
"I can only imagine how the thousands of people who do it every night must feel," he said.
Last year Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised 5.7 million and this year they have already exceeded their target of $8.55 million already raising $8.865 million.
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