Welcome to Best and Worst, a tradition almost as old as Mamamia itself (and Mamamia will be starting third grade next year, so that’s pretty old). Each week we invite our community of readers to let us know what’s been going on in their worlds and share the best, and the worst, thing that’s happened to them.
I’ll get us started….
Best: Last night I participated in the St Vinnies CEO Sleepout in Melbourne. It’s an annual event, where heads of companies from all over Australia spend a night sleeping rough. The event raises millions of dollars for the critical work that Vinnies do and also gives the participants some tiny sliver of insight into what it’s like not having somewhere safe and warm to go home to at the end of the day.
I was proud Mamamia was able to contribute a small part to the fundraising efforts and was unbelievably impressed by how many CEOs put on the long johns and beanies to spend a night protected from the elements only by a few flimsy pieces of cardboard. Across the country we raised more than $5 million for the essential services Vinnies provide to the 100,000 Australians who are homeless.
Worst: It probably won’t surprise you that my best was also my worst. Spending a night out in the cold, with the Melbourne wind blowing and the concrete seeming to get more and more icy as time went on, was not pleasant. The indignity of the morning also struck me, not being able to shower, washing my face and cleaning my teeth in a public toilet; it certainly didn’t leave me bouncy and excited for the day of work ahead.
But this is daily life for many people in our community, including 17,000 homeless Australian children. Hearing firsthand the stories of those who had experienced homelessness revealed the vicious cycle of trauma leading to homelessness leading to the risk of further trauma. Most upsetting was the realisation that cut backs in welfare payments as part of the Budget are likely to mean that even more people end up in rooming houses, shelters or living on the streets.
If you’d like to lend your support to the CEO Sleepout, it’s not too late. Donations are down on last year and Vinnies are desperate for that money so they can keep making a difference for the most vulnerable in our community. If you’re feeling generous, and I hope you are, please head here.
Over to you. What’s been happening in your world this week?