Wireless 1’s Sales Director joins Vinnies CEO Sleepout
As of June 21st 2021, Australia has entered the winter solstice, also known as the shortest day and longest night of the year. This happens when the Earth's North Pole is tilted farthest from the Sun, officially entering us into the season of Winter! This also means the coldest time of the year for Australia.
Enduring these long and cold nights are many homeless people across Australia. To raise awareness the St Vincent de Paul Society invites business, government and community leaders to have a sleep out on the streets to help raise donations to help the growing issue of homelessness.
Wireless 1’s own sales director, David Chen, participated in this year’s CEO Sleepout. In an interview with SBS’s Mandarin Radio program, David said that his participation in the event was a fortuitous encounter, the experience of sleeping out in the cold with almost no amenities, curled up in a cardboard box, allowed David to think about the situation and really live the experience. David coincidently caught a cold while sleeping out on the streets.
David summed up his participation in this activity as a “sweet misunderstanding”.
"I just woke up one morning, and a friend who participated in this event sent me a link to donate. I hadn't woken up yet and accidentally clicked to participate in the event." David said that although he had mistakenly taken part in the event, he went through with it as he believed in the cause.
"The day of the event on June 17th happened to be my mother's birthday. Our family made an appointment to have a meal to celebrate, and I would go to the event after the meal. Unexpectedly, my mother suddenly got gastritis that day. But she still persuaded me not to give up this charity event. She taught me that "giving is more blessed than receiving." My wife and children also encouraged me to do so. They gave me a lot of support and I thank them very much."
Due to first checking on his mother, David arrived a bit late to the event. After picking up his cardboard box, he came to the street sleeping spot where the event was held and set up camp for the night.
"This winter is extremely cold. The place of the Sleepout is next to the shoreline. The sea breeze is very biting. Part of the cardboard box is padded on the ground, and the rest is stacked to form the roof. The two sides are erected, and the front and rear are open to really experience the outdoors."
To participate in the event, David asked a friend of his to borrow a sleeping bag, however, even with his sleeping bag equipped, it was still too cold to sleep that night.
The organiser’s purpose of the annual Sleepout is to allow participants to feel the real life of what it’s like to be homeless. David said they were only provided with a little water and basic foods.
"True homeless people will be more lost and helpless than us. They may also wonder what they can do to change their lives."
"We have security at the event site, but the real homeless may have no place to live every night, and they may also be in danger. We just sleep outside for one night, but the homeless have to endure this every day."
David catching a cold during the sleepout also shows how easy it is for the homeless to get sick when they don’t have a roof above their head. David received a plethora of greetings, congratulations and donations from family, friends and acquaintances for the event.
This year, the event had received more than 9.2 million donations from the CEO Sleepout.
"As long as we have a house, food, and clothing, we are happier than 75% of the people in the world. That night I asked myself, what have we done for them?"
David said, "I think if you can do something for charity, you should spare no effort. This world needs a little more kindness."
Wireless 1 has donated a portion of profits to Vinnies CEO Sleepout, hoping to bring some warmth to those who need it more in this winter season.
Special thanks to our sales director, David Chen for his participation!
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