2016 CEO SleepOut creates change for the homeless


While the CEO SleepOut has created empathy for the homeless for two years in a row, preparations are underway for the group’s third event set to take place on 22 June this year.

The CEO SleepOut events have seen notable business leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs spend a night outdoors, raising funds and gaining empathy for the homeless in the hope of benefiting selected beneficiary partners financially, as well as creating an ongoing commitment to change in the leaders.


Read CEO SleepOut a huge success

Last year the focus was on education. The three primary beneficiary partners, who each received financial donations from the participants’ pledges, were Asha Trust, Columba Leadership and the Steve Biko Foundation. The event, however, also benefits the current homeless community directly.

As part of Brand South Africa, Play Your Part activations, participants donated more than 3 000 items of clothing and shoes to the AIG Pop-Up Shop, which had lined up clothing rails the length of the Nelson Mandela Bridge. They also donated more than 2 000 blankets with The Star: Independent Operation Snowball. Participants also knitted squares for blankets with 67 Blankets and Gogo, and spent time making food for the homeless community in the Tsebo kitchens. More than 1 000 sleeping bags and bags of firewood were also donated by Makro.


The morning after the event, more than 1 000 members of the homeless community were invited onto the bridge, in collaboration with Gift of the Givers and The Star, where they were able to help themselves to donated cooked food, blankets, clothes, sleeping bags and firewood – as well as any other items from the event, such as cutlery, hot drinks and water.

“The breakfast many homeless people received the morning after the CEO SleepOut was, in many cases, the only meal some would eat that day,” said Badr Kazi, corporate and government liaison manager of the Gift of the Givers.


“The impact of a free meal upon the inner-city homeless people is hugely profound. Many people have fallen into despair and loss and this gesture shows them that there are people who care and society has not forsaken them completely.”

Read Infographic: How much money was raised with the CEO SleepOut?

Ali Gregg, founder and chief executive officer of the CEO SleepOut said, “Our mission was not only to raise funds for the beneficiaries but also ensure that the homeless community in Braamfontein was able to benefit from the event. That morning, as the event gave back small, but meaningful items to those who need it most was one of the most moving experiences I have ever witnessed.”

Details: info@theceosleepoutza.co.za

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