Here at THN we love getting involved with community fundraisers and events, so when we heard about a local sleepout event aiming to raise money for Coast Shelter we were compelled to get involved!
For almost 30 years Coast Shelter has helped the most vulnerable people facing Domestic and Family Violence and Homelessness across the Central Coast, by providing a safe refuge and vital resources.
For so many of us, it’s hard to imagine the life of a homeless person when we are so privileged to have a safe place to sleep, food on the table, and a stable working environment. The Sleepout’s purpose is not only to raise money, but to open our eyes to the struggles of others and get us out of our comfort zones.
Marielle (who is always down for a good cause) decided it was right up her alley, having had experience participating in UTS’s The Big Lift, a program where students go on 9-day bus trip through regional Australia and visit regional towns to help them with projects such as land restoration, construction, and painting. Thus, she was well-versed in the art of sleeping on the hard ground.
I on the other hand, am very inexperienced with any sort of hardship and might even be considered precious by some. So it was with great naivety that I decided to participate alongside Marielle and alas; The THN Sleepout team was born.
In my eyes, the biggest challenge was going to be raising the standard goal of $1000. Marielle passed this round with flying colours, knowing exactly how to hound relatives and family friends into helping a good cause. My journey was slower, but thanks to the generosity of our co-workers, THN made it across the finish line and rose a fantastic $2225, beating our goal of $2000!
We arrived at Central Coast stadium at 6:30pm on a very rainy November afternoon.
The sleeping situation was probably the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been. However, our restless evening was quickly forgotten when morning came, and we could head home to our comfy beds for some catch-up sleep. It was a saving grace that the event was pushed back to November due to COVID, because I can only imagine how awful it would be during the unforgiving winter.
While it wasn’t an easy night, Marielle and I are extremely grateful for having had the experience. It was the eye-opening reminder we needed to appreciate our warm beds, our comfy cushions and comforters, and the sleep-inducing feeling that comes with safety.
It was also the opportune moment to stop and appreciate all the work that goes into these events, and the passion and devotion that Coast Shelter put into their work. We are so grateful to them for giving us this experience, and for all the work they do to keep people off the streets as best they can.
Overall Coast Shelter raised a whopping $88,686 from this year’s Sleepout. Here at THN, we are extremely proud to have contributed to that.
Please visit their website to find out how you can make a difference and maybe consider participating alongside us at the 2022 Sleepout!