Lifewise Big Sleepout, now in its fourth year, was held in Auckland last week and was a huge success with business leaders, politicians, and community leaders swapping home comforts for concrete to raise over $152,000 in serious cash to tackle homelessness.
The concrete was cold and uncomfortable, despite a relatively mild Auckland night, but participant's discomfort was richly rewarded with the most money ever raised by the Big Sleepout event.
Special mention must go to the rough sleepers who hold the top 5 spots at www.bigsleepout.org.nz and contributed an amazing cumulative $38,000 towards the fundraising total; Kiri Barfoot of Barfoot & Thompson, Michele Bollinger of Kimberly-Clark, Murray Crane of Crane Brothers, Henry Lynch of NZ Association of Credit Unions and Mike Marr of Advanced Security Group.
Lifewise are once again grateful for the generous donations received from people supporting the 'rough sleepers'.
A special note of thanks to the support of the Telecom Foundation and Givealittle - every dollar of this will go directly to frontline services aimed at getting homeless people off the streets and into housing as quickly as possible. The work of these frontline services has already resulted in 254 homeless people being housed directly from the street.
The Foundation's Chair, Sir Bob Harvey, and General Manager, Lynne Le Gros, joined the other 81 participants roughing it in AUT University's Hikuwai Plaza. Le Gros says: "Sir Bob and I were incredibly proud to have the opportunity to not only take part in the Big Sleepout, but also provide zero fees fundraising through Givealittle. We are very proud that 100% gets through to Lifewise who do an amazing job turning the lives of many homeless people around."
"Givealittle is a fantastic platform for charitable organisations, schools and individuals to fundraise on, the Telecom Foundation has ensured 100% of fundraising gets through and we look forward to seeing many more Kiwi organisations using Givealittle like Lifewise has."
Lifewise's general manager John McCarthy agrees. "The funds raised are critical to keeping our doors open. The support of the Telecom Foundation and Givealittle means that the community support generated has maximum impact."
"I'd also like to thank AUT University for once again getting right behind the event. Not only did AUT host the event, but once again Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack led a team of nine brave staff sleeping outside."