By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: A few weeks ago, the brash and outspoken CEO of Hybrid TV, Robbee Minicola, did something humbling and unforgettable: she slept out in the winter cold with a collection of fellow CEOs. As the boss of the company responsible for distributing TiVo, Minicola is used to a comfortable life, spending time with her family and watching catch-up TV, so this experience was not one to forget – or regret.
Minicola’s nocturnal sojourn under the stars was in aid of St Vincent’s Homeless Services, a charity organisation dedicated to improving the lives of homeless Australians. Each year, this organisation invited some of the more well-heeled members of our society to spend a single night outside, with funds through sponsorship and greater awareness both raised in support of our nation’s less fortunate citizens.
Using her vast network of contacts, Minicola managed to raise over $33,000 in donations for St Vincent’s – well above her stated goal of $25,000. But, as she herself told Current.com.au, this night was not about who had the most contacts.
“The evening was very sombre – it was not a night to network,” Minicola said. “It was a night to open our ears and our hearts to listen to those who were homeless at one time and to discover that anyone can be stripped of everything they own and the comforts of a warm bed and a roof over their head.”
Strangely, despite giving up her warm bed for the night, Minicola said the true sacrifice was not made by her, but her young son Daniel. That night coincided with Daniel’s birthday, meaning he had to accept missing out on his mum’s attention on his special day.
Despite this, Minicola has made two vows: she will return next year, and she will raise even more money.
“It was great to contribute to such a fantastic cause and I would like to do it again next year and double our target.
“Being a small part of the $2.8million in total that was raised across Australia by all CEOs in support of St Vincent’s Homeless Services across the country was a perfect way to hit the pause button on a busy life to give something back.”
For more information on St Vincent’s Homeless Service, visit this website: http://www.vinnies.org.au/