The Sudsy Challenge comes to New Zealand for the first time in 2021, encouraging Kiwis to keep their kit on for three days and start a conversation about homelessness.
Hairdresser and Orange Sky volunteer Kelley was among the first to sign up to the inaugural challenge.
“The Sudsy Challenge was new to New Zealand, and I feel so passionate about demystifying the stigma around people experiencing homelessness,” Kelley says.
“I want to help my friends and family see the human behind the homelessness and remove the stigma associated with it, so that they will start to think differently about the issue.”
Kelley is the Managing Director of Headstart hair salon in Wellington and says COVID restrictions and lockdowns mean getting creative to support Orange Sky and The Sudsy Challenge.
“I put together a basket of goodies from my hair salon and am selling tickets for that,” she says.
“Lockdown this time around has meant I haven’t been able to get out on Orange Sky shifts and that has made me feel very sad for our friends but I have been able to sell my raffle tickets online.”
As well as raising funds, The Sudsy Challenge also aims to raise awareness about homelessness by engaging in conversations.
“One thing that has surprised me, though it’s not a good one, is how some people don’t want to hear about it,” Kelley says.
“It made me feel sad that they are so stuck in their mindset that they won’t consider another perspective.”
Kelley is taking part in weekend two of The Sudsy Challenge in September and wants to encourage as many people as possible to also join up and play their part.
“Oh, do it! It’s such a great feeling to be contributing to such a great cause,” she says.
“More importantly, having the chance to chat with people and question them about what they would take if they had to pack their belongings into one bag or live on the street.
“It’s just good to get chats going around the issue and Sudsy has really enabled me to do it. It’s such a great initiative and I’m so proud to be onboard and be part of the first-ever challenge.”