Property Australia

10,000 steps to build a home

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA July 28, 2020

In the Property Industry Foundation’s first virtual charity event, participants can ride, run or walk their way to a fitness goal – and help raise funds to build houses for homeless youth.

Every night there are 44,000 young Australians without a safe place to sleep. Nearly a third are children under the age of 12. The Property Industry Foundation (PIF) brings the property and construction industry together to build homes for vulnerable youth.

The 30-Day Fitness challenge – PIF’s first virtual event – is an opportunity for people to get fit for a cause. From 20 July to 18 August, individuals and teams will compete for the most kilometres tracked and money raised.

Kate-Mills-Headshot-2Kate Mills, CEO at PIF, says the organisation has already received large scale support, but this event is also about creating engagement opportunities in the industry.

“Our focus is always on building houses for homeless youth, but it’s also about us giving back to the industry. How can we come up with something that is going to resonate with individuals have supported us for many years?

“There’s nothing better than getting some fresh air with your colleagues. Even when you’re working from home – that little bit of exercise can really help break up the day.”

Prior to COVID-19, physical events represented a significant portion of the fundraising income stream for PIF.

“When things first started shutting down, a lot of people were not sure how long the lockdown would last. But after a couple months, people started to realise they weren’t going to be able to run physical events, so we had to turn to the digital landscape.”

Mills says PIF used this opportunity to bring forward digital projects that have been in the pipeline for some time.

“When you have a physical event, you always have to be thinking about what the digital counterpart will look like in terms of value and engagement.

“We’d always wanted to do virtual events because it allows for more people to engage with us who might otherwise be unable to attend a physical event. But these events take time and resources to plan, so it wasn’t until the physical events stopped that we were able to channel our focus into setting up our digital space.”

A new website, underway before COVID-19 hit, has been expedited to allow for the delivery of digital campaigns.

The event, launched on 20 July, already has more than 65 teams and 660 fundraisers. Through the new website, participants can track their progress and share messaging to friends and family about how to support vulnerable youth.

With the money raised from the campaign, PIF will build more bedrooms for homeless youth. Since 2018, with the help of the property industry, PIF has built 76 bedrooms and has another 30 in development.

Over the lifetime of these bedrooms, hundreds of children will get a second chance at life.

PIF’s mission is to build 125 bedrooms for homeless youth by 2021. Learn more about how you can get involved and make a difference.