Vinnies 2018 sleepout to help fund Fred’s Place homeless drop-in centre in Tweed Heads has exceeded its target, thanks to support from some 50 sleepers last Thursday (August 30) and donations from a wide range of local clubs, businesses and individuals.
In total around $60,000 has been raised to support a vital service that receives no government funding.
High-profile sleepers included Tweed deputy mayor Reece Byrnes, who was a leading fundraiser, Tweed MP Geoff Provest, students from Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School and a formerly long-term homeless man, Phil.
Phil spoke of his experiences living rough and the valuable help provided by Fred’s Place, leaving the audience deeply touched.
Mr Provest, who has volunteered at Vinnies Matthew Talbot hostel for homeless people in Sydney, said in the past he could not look a homeless person in the eye and did everything to avoid contact. Now he does whatever he can to engage with them and to listen to their story, saying that lending an ear can make a big difference.
The Ken & Jane Grace Foundation donated $5,000, with SAE Group installing a $5,000 solar system at the service.
Tweed’s Seagulls Club, who are annual event sponsors, raised an extra $3,000 from members during August’s ‘Homelessness Month’.
Tax-deductible donations can still be made at https://fredsplacecommunitysleepout2018.gofundraise.com.au/