Today is iPhone Day, and it's massive. We're in the calm before the storm right now: people are setting up tents huddling under blankets and camping out under the city lights and the night sky. You might be one of these people, eagerly waiting the rapturous applause of Apple staff as you wake up tomorrow.
Apple urges us all to "think differently", and this iPhone Day, we want you to do the same thing: it's time to give back and help those who sleep on our nation's streets every single night.
Australia plays host to over 105,000 homeless people right now. That means on any given night around our country, around one in 200 Australians is homeless. In a nation of over 23 million, that's a national disgrace.
Here's another fact. If you're camping outside the Sydney Apple Store on George Street waiting to buy a shiny new iPhone tomorrow morning, you share a block with a makeshift shelter on the corner of George and Market Streets that has been there for almost a decade. The person inside this shelter is always asking for donations and anything people can spare for everything from food through to vital medicine. The problem is closer than you think.
Tonight in Sydney the temperature (in Spring) looks set to drop to 9 degrees Celsius. In Melbourne, it's going to be colder at 5 degrees with expected showers. You can rug up with your blanket and tent, but others might not be able to.
While you might think that it's a novelty to camp out on a city street for one night, for thousands of people across our nation it's a crushing reality that they experience every single night.
So this iPhone Day, we'd urge you to think about our nation's homeless and the ones less fortunate than you. We're not saying this to bum you out before tomorrow's launch: we're saying it because we believe that if every single person in line tonight for the iPhone donated what they could to helping their city's homeless population, it might go some way to shrinking it, even by just a little.
It's easy to help, too. Mission Australia runs a van service called Missionbeat that goes around the city helping those who need it, offering food, shelter, medical care and at the very worst if people can't be sheltered, a blanket to keep warm. The Mission team do great work, but they need our help. If you're picking up an iPhone at 8am tomorrow morning, perhaps use it to call up Mission and organise a time to drop off some blankets to help them out.
If you don't want to go and donate a blanket to Mission, head over to their website while you wait in line and make a monetary donation. Depending on how close you are to the front of the queue, you can use the Apple Store's free Wi-Fi network if you're worried about the data costs.
Even if you donate just $10 — that's less than one per cent of what a 128GB iPhone 6 costs — it can go towards helping someone out. Donate whatever you can to help combat homelessness and support those sleeping rough.
Note: There are many reasons why someone can end up homeless. Please join us in the spirit of thinking of others. We will immediately delete any mean-spirited comments.