SmileDial is a registered charity with a simple goal to put Smiles on the Dials of families who have a child with special needs.



Kelly Dugan started SmileDialNZ 7 years ago after his daughter suffered brain damage during birth. Kelly noticed there was a lack of support for parents, who needed to be able to connect with others who understood what life was like raising a child who was a 'different type of perfect'.


Kelly created SmileDialNZ to support every family member to ensure everyone has a Smile on their Dial. It started as an online facebook group, and very quickly proved to be a much needed place for parents to connect, and receive support when other streams of funding fell short.


From what started with Kelly running Smile Dial in his spare time, from his spare room, SmileDial has since become a team of 3 people who have helped create a charity which punches well above it's weight. We have given away over 1 million dollars worth of goods, services, equipment and support to families.

We have also created a world class Sensory Garden in Christchurch, allowing people of all abilities the chance to access installments based on the 5 senses. What was once a vision Kelly had dreamed of, has become a reality. His daughter who is in a walker, as well as many others like her, can now feel included when they play. We also made the beach accessible for people of all physical abilities, by providing beach-friendly wheel chairs in Christchurch.

One part of SmileDial which we are particularly proud of, is our decision to focus on helping bridge the gap in the mental health systems around NZ. We do this by providing the opportunity for our members to access mental health support workers and counselors.


In 2014, SmileDial received a private donation which covered the cost of the CEO's wage. While we have tried various avenues, we haven't been able to lock in any continued funding for 2015 and beyond. Kelly has since moved on to a full-time employment (still helping families who have a children with special needs), and Sam Hall has taken over the part-time role of running Smile Dial. There is no doubt that the more funding we receive, the more we can help the families that we support.

We are one of the few charities in NZ who give 100% of donations back to the families we support, including any money raised through Givealittle. Any payments received by the three trustees come from a separate operational account separate from our donation account. This money comes from grants, and people who choose to support the operational costs of Smile Dial.

We're a little charity with big dreams to provide long term help to families around NZ. Please help us to continue the much needed support that we give to our registered families.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like information on how to become a major sponsor or have a look at the SmileDialNZ Facebook page to see the work SmileDialNZ does on a daily basis to "Support Kiwi Families Raising Kids With Special Needs".

More about us

SmileDial provides support to families who are raising children with special needs or in need of ongoing medical care. SmileDial first started as a support group where caregivers could come together to support each other, vent frustrations and share milestones together.

We have since grown to having almost 1000 members in our support group, and even more registered with us. We now host coffee groups around the country, provide much needed medical and therapy equipment to families, provide advocacy for families, and we have helped make changes in the community to improve accessibility for our members.

Most importantly, we provide mental and emotional support through mental health referrals, by helping our member access councilors and other mental health workers.

SmileDial has been running for 7 years, and we are one of the few charities in New Zealand where 100% of donations that we receive go to the families we support. This includes money raised through our Givealittle pages.

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Who's involved?

SmileDial's avatar
Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, SmileDial (Charity)
Registered Charity
A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit
Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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