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CEO Sleepout trending on Twitter

More than 1,000 chief executives around Australia swapped their warm beds for a piece of cardboard on the streets last night to raise money for charity.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is a nationwide event organised by the St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) and aims to raise awareness about the problem of homelessness in this country.

According to statistics on the official Vinnies website, there are more than 100,000 Australians without a home and 33 per cent of these are children and young people.

"For me, the number of women and children who are homeless is a statistic and phenomena that we shouldn't tolerate, and I think that is true of all homelessness," Carnival Australia chief executive Ann Sherry said on May 1.

Last night's Sleepout generated significant publicity and bought homelessness to the forefront of many people's minds.

The hash tag #CEOSleepout was trending nationwide on Twitter and still is this morning (local time) as the chief executives around the country wake up from their slumber.

Organisers, supporters and the CEOs themselves all used the microblogging site to Tweet about their experiences.

"Getting ready to do my 5th Sleepout to raise money for homeless. It's cold, uncomfortable & necessary #ceosleepout," Tweeted Melina Schamroth, the founder of corporate and community coaching company

Members from the St Paul de Vincent Society also launched their own interactive Twitter campaign, reminding their followers of the concerning facts and statistics surrounding homelessness.

"Facts on homelessness. 58% of homeless people are under 35 years of age. 44% are women. 12% are under 12 years of age," Tweeted @CEOSleepout. '

So far the initiative has raised $4,750,789 according a live tally on the Vinnies website. This year organisers hope to get the figure up to five million.

"We are very grateful and humbled by the growing support from corporate Australia," manager of community and corporate relations at St Vincent de Paul Society Julie McDonald said on June 15.

Posted by Jess O'Connor