Scarves and PJs, plus board games and snacks, will be a few necessary items over 1,800 Melburnians will want to pack in their sleepover bag as they prepare for Sleep At The 'G 2019.
This is the seventh-year Melbourne's holy grail of sport – the MCG – will host the city's largest mass participation sleeper event dedicated to raising funds to put youth homelessness to bed.
Sleep At The 'G is set to attract more than 1,800 sleepers, an increase from 1,500 sleepers in 2018. "This year, we are setting our sights high and increasing our sleeper target on last year," says Vicki Sutton, CEO, Melbourne City Mission (MCM).
"For many Melburnians, Sleep At The 'G is an excellent chance for friends or workmates to come together for a great cause. Every night in Victoria, there are 6,000 young people experiencing homelessness, and this isn't good enough.
"Melbourne City Mission encourages everyone to get involved. If you can't make it on the night, donate and help us put youth homelessness to bed," Ms Sutton adds.
With gates opening at 5pm, the overnight sleep event is aiming to meet an ambitious fundraising target of $1.2 million, to break the cycle of youth homelessness across Victoria. Every dollar raised will be go toward building and furnishing MCM's crisis accommodation centres across the city, a step towards ensuring those who are at risk of homelessness will have the support they need.
"Sleep At The 'G is an opportunity to come together and express our collective support for some of Victoria's most vulnerable young people who have nowhere safe to sleep," "It will be a chance to raise awareness of youth homelessness and how we all can contribute by working together to make a difference so more young people can get their lives on track and lead independent lives," says Ms Sutton.
Self-storage solution provider, Fort Knox, is one of many corporate partners that's been involved in every single Sleep At The 'G and will be participating once again this year, with an 11-strong team of sleepers at the ready.
As part of the company's community days and volunteer program, Fort Knox offers its employees the chance to give back via an organisation that aligns with its workplace culture.
"Over the last seven years, we have heard first hand from some of the young people whom have been homeless, and their personal stories have touched our hearts. We have found the team enjoy the fulfillment of personally doing something that will be life changing, and that offers a long-term improvement to the quality of a person's life in a time of need or crisis," says Julia West, HR and Operations Manager at Fort Knox.
"Personal experience and participation of physically giving up the comforts of your home to sleep on the concrete shows their support rather than just a monetary donation," Ms West adds.
For more information on how to register or donate, visit www.sleepattheg.com.au