WHEN Neville Tomkins signed up to participate in Vinnies CEO Sleepout eight years ago he set himself a personal goal.
“I committed to myself I would not rest until I had raised at least $100,000 for homeless people in my local Canberra community,” said Neville.
Last weekend Neville reached his goal. As of this morning he has personally raised $101,300.
“That is not to say I will now give up! Quite the opposite. I will now set myself a new personal goal to support Vinnies through the CEO Sleepout, raising funds for people experiencing homelessness, for as long as my health can sustain it,” he says.
Neville, who for the past two years has been chief commissioner for Scouts NSW, was ready to retire some years ago but heard the inspirational story of a homeless single mother and two children sleeping in their car in the middle of Canberra’s winter.
“The family could hardly afford food let alone run the car’s engine through the night to keep warm,” says Neville.
“Not only did Vinnies support that family with emergency accommodation and meals, but their Clemente program helped the mother to complete her university studies. She is now in full-time employment and in secure rented accommodation. Vinnies gave this family, including the two young children, hope for the future.”
“We are so grateful for Neville, and people like him, who return year after year to the CEO Sleepout to raise money for Vinnies. His fundraising efforts have made a massive difference in the lives of so many Canberrans. We thank him for his commitment to continue raising awareness of poverty and homelessness,” says Barnie van Wyk, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.
This year Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn aims to raise $700,000 through the event. Currently the 173 participants have raised $345,064. The event will be held in a hangar at Canberra Airport on Thursday, June 20.