Financial services communication expertise (with an edge) for financial services, from BlueChip Communication co-founder Carden Calder. Yes, it's niche... we're experts at what we do. Like social media, PR, content marketing & communication consulting. And frank about what we don't do... like sell toothpaste.
services bigwigs, political heavyweights and diverse CEOs shared one big
concrete mattress last night in Sydney.
All in a
good cause, we participated in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout along with
1,046 other Australian CEOs.
Let me be
clear. This was not a networking event. It was a night where people without
titles lined up for a cup of soup, organised their three sheets of cardboard,
heard from people with personal experiences of homelessness then tried to get
some shut eye. It was also a night that raised almost $5 million for Vinnies to
use in helping the homeless in Australia.
For us it
was just one night. For Australia’s homeless it’s much longer.
And it was
the Australians with a direct and personal experience of homelessness who stole
the show. Not the corporate bigwigs braving a single winter night in the
post is dedicated to the kindness of strangers, and the power of narrative.
streets look strange this morning. I’m looking at them from the “street level.”
Last night I felt almost queasy at the
thought of sleeping outside in winter. Today all I can think about is how many
people worry about that every night,
and the fractures in their lives that have led them to have no place to call
thanks to three people who shared their all-too-real experience of
homelessness, of having no keys, of having no place to go to, I rediscovered
the power of narrative. Three people told hundreds of CEOs their story in
Sydney last night. Real stories, real tragedy, real pain.
like many other women in a suit. She is well spoken, attractive, in her 40s and
has just finished her Master’s degree. Her siblings are a business owner and a
lawyer. Her mother is a professional; an expert in her field. Megan told us of
how she became the inconvenient reminder for her family of earlier abuse. This
meant that when, as an adult, she left a violent relationship with two
children, she had nowhere to go, no one to call on, no one to bail her out.
Megan nearly lost her own daughter as their difficult
family circumstances led her young teenage daughter to increasingly stay away
from home. Megan gave up her job to find her daughter, and in so doing lost the
roof over their heads as well as her income. Eventually, it was Vinnies who
helped Megan get her life back on track through providing the simple things
that most of us take for granted. Beds. Somewhere safe to stay. A meal. People
to help her through this time.
untold story of Australia’s homeless – and the kindness of strangers
We often assume
people on the streets are older, male, and have substance abuse or mental
health issues that led them to become so dislocated. Some are older,
male, and have significant challenges with alcohol and/or drugs. Almost all, it
seems, have personal experience of terrible tragedy, of abuse, or of life-fracturing
events. Often, it’s many such events that led them to become homeless.
And so this
morning, as I headed home in the dark to my three children and my husband, and
my warm house, I have rediscovered not only the power of storytelling, but also
the power we each have to make a significant difference in someone else’s life.
of a nod, and a hello to a homeless person on the street.
of a donation to help someone who doesn’t have anyone else to help them.
power of allowing people to tell their own stories in their own voice so they
may be truly heard.
your story be? Will you help with a ‘hello’, a donationor a friendly ear?