Nothing can make one appreciate one’s life of comfort more than having to sleep out in the streets on a cold concrete pavement, which is what 247 business leaders recently did.

In the midst of winter, Tandy Coleman-Spolander from Polyflor SA joined 247 business leaders in braving the cold and uncomfortable conditions, to spend a night sleeping on the cold, hard pavements of Johannesburg to help raise over R25-million for the charity organisation Girls & Boys Town.

Polyflor SA was proud to participate in this year’s CEO Sleepout that was hosted for the first time in South Africa by Talk Radio station 702 and Sun International on Thursday, 18 June 2015. With little more than the clothes she was wearing, a sleeping bag, a cardboard box and a fire to protect her against the elements, Tandy said the evening left her feeling humbled, with a realisation of  how hard life on the street is, but also extremely grateful for the life of comfort many take for granted on a daily basis.

The initiative takes a different approach to philanthropy by asking CEOs, board executives, influencers and heads of professional firms to lead by example. Apart from having to raise and donate at least R100 000 to the project, each participant was also required to spend a night on the streets.

“It was an unforgettable experience that I would do again in a heartbeat,” Tandy concludes. “Although it was the cream of South Africa’s business leaders who participated, we were all experiencing the same circumstances – regardless of your title or your company’s turnover. Everybody was focused on why we were truly there and all were willing to sacrifice their comforts for one evening.”

Polyflor SA and Tandy would like to thank their sponsors: Combined Flooring; JNB; Turner Peirson; Pretoria Flooring; Buildia; D&L Flooring; Mastec; Flor Pro; Kevin Bates Flooring; Polyflor UK; and Gradus Ltd.