The mercury dropped to a chilly five degrees just in time for a group of over 20 Canberrans to lose their insulating locks at Shave for the Brave, a fundraising event for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) this morning, 15 March.
“To actually get this opportunity to help a lot of people, a lot of families in the Canberra region, that’s awesome,” he said.
Mr Soliola has close ties with local homelessness service The Early Morning Centre and has previously joined in with the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 42% of the clients of specialist homelessness services have experienced family and domestic violence.
The Canberra Raiders star said he learned about the interconnectedness of domestic violence and homelessness by speaking to people experiencing homelessness in Canberra.
“It’s not just something that happens overnight, and it affects a lot of people.”
This morning’s much anticipated event has raised more than double the initial target of $40,000, and DVCS interim general manager Glenda Stevens says participants are still accepting donations to meet a new target of $100,000.
“A nice, round $100,000 would be really, really great for DVCS so we can keep doing the amazing work that we do to help women and children and people escape from situations of violence and fear,” she said.
In the meantime, Ms Stevens and fellow shave participant Sue Webeck will each need to pull a warm hat out of storage.
Today’s fundraiser falls on the same day as a major protest to put an end to gendered violence, March 4 Justice Canberra, and Ms Webeck was on her way to collect her female identified children from school to attend.
Shave for the Brave participants included members of the public and employees of local organisations including DVCS, Mix 106.3, ABC Canberra, Icon Water, ACT Policing, SES Queanbeyan, Blumers Lawyers, Holcim Australia, and Leidos.
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