Gandel Philanthropy CEO, Vedran Drakulic, was one of more than 200 Victorian business and community leaders who slept outdoors beside the Yarra River on June 23 as part of the 2016 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
The national event, which began in Sydney in 2006, raises much needed funds to provide crucial assistance to people experiencing homelessness, with the aim of breaking the cycle of homelessness permanently.
Vedran raised $39,090 in support of his efforts—which included dollar for dollar matching from Gandel Philanthropy—and saw him named Highest Fundraiser for Victoria.
“Gandel Philanthropy provides support for a range of programs that aim to improve the lives of homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless,” he says.
“For me, this event and the awareness around it, is an opportunity to maintain the focus on the issue of homelessness and its complex nature.
“Sleeping rough for one night is only a symbolic gesture, but it does provide a platform for St Vincent de Paul to share the stories of hardship, and of successes, in their work with people affected by homelessness.
“It also allows me to reach out to all my colleagues and partners and make them think, even if it is for a short time, about this issue which can—and does—affect many people in our society.”
Vedran hopes that his participation will encourage other leaders in philanthropy to take part and lend their support to this important cause.
“The matching support from Gandel Philanthropy is great because it helps double my fundraising effort, and I hope that other colleagues in the philanthropic sector will join in this event,” he says. “It’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds!”
For more information about Vinnies CEO Sleepout, visit the website.