Winter has arrived and it’s getting cold! There’s frost on our lawns and snow on the mountains. On Thursday 18 June, Preventive Dentistry will participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout to raise money for the St Vincent de Paul Society to support Canberrans in need.
Our dentists Drs Steve Lising, Ann Duong, Scott Park, Deanne Carr and one of our hygienists Rachael Walton, will be sleeping rough just like the 116,000 homeless people around Australia. We hope that our one-night experience raises awareness about the bleak reality that homeless people endure night after night, day after day.
The CEO Sleepout, 2020-Style
This year will be a bit different. We can’t physically gather together so all the participants around Australia will join together in spirit, online. From our individual sleep site in the backyard, the car or on a couch, we will log in to the live stream and hear inspirational stories from former homeless people who have risen to success just because Vinnies gave them a “hand up”, not just a “hand out”. Last year, participants were given a role-playing exercise where we experienced the feelings of embarrassment, desperation, hopelessness and misery that homeless people suffer…..it brought Steve and Scott to tears, but strengthened their resolve to raise even more donations on the night!
Canberra’s sleepout always seems to fall on the coldest night of the year. Last year Steve and Scott braved -5°C huddling together on the tarmac at the Canberra Airport. No doubt it will be just as cold this year, but as well as the physical challenge there will also be the psychological challenge of the loneliness of isolation.
Why This Year’s Sleepout Is So Important
Despite the COVID-19 social restrictions, Vinnies were still determined to hold this year’s CEO Sleepout because now more than ever, Australians need help. This year has been a bad year all around for so many people. From the floods to the bushfires, the hailstorm to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now we are in economic recession. And as well as the threat of financial hardship there are of course the effects on our mental health. The future is uncertain.
With record unemployment levels the reality is that many families will lose everything, very quickly, finding themselves homeless. Homelessness can happen to anyone. There are families sleeping in their cars, in Canberra, right now.
Domestic violence has increased forcing many women and children to make the desperate choice to flee and sleep in the car as they are no longer safe in their homes. The overnight lockdown of restaurants and bars, beauty and fitness industries left thousands of Canberra’s young casual workers suddenly jobless.
Preventive Dentistry is so lucky to have survived the strict COVID-19 restrictions on dentistry. We took a big hit, but thanks to our loyal patient following and our unwavering team spirit, we will bounce back. Sadly, however, many less established small businesses will collapse, devastating both employees and employers alike.
Your Donation Makes A Difference
With Steve’s first sleepout he raised $7,470. For his second he raised $11,677. Last year thanks to the astounding generosity from patients, colleagues, family and friends, Preventive Dentistry raised $17,166!
Let’s see if the Preventive Dentistry team can raise $20,000 this year! Vinnies and Canberra’s homeless will be truly grateful for whatever you can afford to give. Remember, compared to so many, we are all very lucky…we have a roof over our heads.
Please follow this link: Donate to the Preventive Dentistry Team CEO Sleepout to make your tax-deductible donation now. Your little act of kindness really can turn someone’s life around!
Thank you so much,
The Preventive Dentistry Team