At Smile Dial we like to ‘break boundaries’ by giving Smile Dial kids an opportunity to experience activities. Things that most would think are not possible because of their disability or special needs. We have proven that they are able to enjoy the many activities and experiences that most children do, and we are proud to provide this opportunity for them. We have seen kids sky dive, white water rafting, V8 car ride experiences, rugby tickets, horse riding and lots more.
We have also set up a Milestone Fund, where we our members can apply for equipment that will help their child meet their next milestone. This has included specialty walking equipment, seats to help children sit up and participate in activities, iPads and more.
At Christmas we get together at the Sensory Garden and giveaway lots of Christmas presents, and in the holidays we give away movie passes.
Smile Dial prides itself on supporting all members of the family. Our first ever project was transforming a waiting room in the Children’s Ward at the hospital, with a beautiful mural. This place waiting area was a common place for parents to meet when their children were in hospital. So to brighten up the space. This has included whole backyard makeovers to make them more accessible, provide re-connect weekends or parents, and family picnics at the garden.
Mental health has a huge impact on our families. It is estimated that 90% of marriages end in divorce, and there is a 40% chance of having depression or other mental health disorders. This is often due to the stress, grief, isolation, lack of sleep and helplessness that comes with having a child with a disability, or in need of ongoing medical care. Smile Dial funds mental health support for our members (mums, dads and children), giving them access to private professional counselling all over the country.
Most recently we gave away $2000 worth of Countdown cards to assist our families though the Covid-19 lockdown. Many of our families were in isolation since the pandemic started, long before the official lockdown. This is due to the fragile nature of a lot of our kid’s health.
Smile Dial has it’s own online Dads Group where dads can have a private space to chat about what it’s like being a Smile Dial dad. These dads often work very long hours to ease the financial burden of have a Smile Dial kid, and then when they get home from work, many spend the night caring for their child. Some Smile Dial kids need 24 hour care. A lot of the time, people don’t really understand what life is like for Smile Dial families, so to be able to connect with others who do understand is essential.
Throughout the year we take the dads out for pizza, pool, video games, fishing trips, clay shooting and lots more. Every Fathers Day we give away prizes for the dads also.
Throughout the year we host Mums Events, such as pamper afternoons, coffee groups, dinners, weekends away, and much more. This offers a great chance for the mums to have some time to themselves, surrounded by people who live in similar circumstances. It’s a great opportunity to let their hair down and have some time for themselves.
We also have Mothers Day giveaways, and paid for other fun things such as makeovers and fancy haircuts.
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