One of SMTP2GO’s focuses is in giving back to the community. We’re going to use these Charity Spotlight posts to introduce you to some of the organizations that have a special place in our hearts. The first charity that we’re going to talk about is Smile Dial: supporting Kiwi families raising kids with special needs.
Being a New Zealand based company, we like to choose charities that are close to home, where we can see the difference that they make on an everyday basis. SmileDial is based in Christchurch, and aims to help not just children with special needs, but also their families.
SmileDial is a registered charity that supports with families who have a child with an ongoing medical condition and/or disability. SmileDial understand that having a child with special needs can be stressful on all family members and we put Smiles on the Dials of mums, dads and siblings (rather than focusing on the family member with special needs). SmileDial also provides a community where parents can ask for advice, share good times and bad and know that they are not alone and others understand the challenges they are facing.
The organization helps to ease families’ burdens so that they can focus on what really matters: family. For example, if a family needs financial support then SmileDial aims to help with this. They also help to provide them with necessary purchases that they may otherwise not be able to attain, such as specialized medical equipment, a new car, gate alarms. Depending on their needs, the organization can adapt the services that they offer. All registered SmileDial families can request support at any time for anything, and if SmileDial can’t help, then they can put them in contact with another organization that may be able to.
They also run events to provide families with the opportunity to enjoy affordable days out, while meeting other parents in similar situations. Although the events are open to all families, they are designed to offer families of children with special needs the opportunity to enjoy time together as a family unit. They also take care of parents and siblings by organizing special events to give them a little TLC or respite, too. Some of the events have included a trip in a race car, a flight in a Vampire jet, the opportunity for a grandad to fly to see his granddaughter for the very first time, Christmas presents for over 300 families, and a mural in the children’s ward of the Christchurch hospital. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the efforts of the organization and the lives that they have touched.
SmileDial was founded by Kelly Boy after his daughter was affected by a brain injury. Upon realising how challenging the journey could be, he wanted to reach out to help other families who were experiencing the same difficulties. They have made an incredible difference to the lives of so many, and continue to do do. You can take a look at some of their projects here.