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Send a Little Smile (SALS) is a wonderful little charity !

Words and images by Mia Sutherland

Send a Little Smile (SALS) is a wonderful little charity that is devoted to making things a little bit better. Founder Hollie Hales-Whitaker sculpted the idea for SALS from a memory she held close to her heart. Going through a rough period of life, she unexpectedly received a hand-delivered envelope. Inside was a beautiful card and vouchers for groceries, petrol, and a massage. From that point in time, Hollie noticed friends and colleagues going through challenging times. Send a Little Smile blossomed into reality in 2019 when she realized there were a lot of charities with a specific focus and not one for just having a bad time. Inspired by everyone around her and the strength of those people who come out the other side of tricky situations, Hollie acquired an inspiring team of trustees who are devoted to making things a little better. Hollie and her trustees are driven by the fact they are possibly making someone's day a bit better. 

The charity runs on nominations—anonymous and confidential—which are sent in through their website. Anyone can be nominated, whether they’re having a rough week or doing good things for the community. The nominee will receive a “Bag of Smiles,” consisting of goods and services donated by local businesses. Coffee vouchers, candles, beauKayes flowers, and Apple Press juice are all regular items. If you are a local business—of any size—and you would like to donate to SALS go to their website and scroll down to the ‘How Can I Donate’ button and follow the instructions. Each month, up to 15 deserving people get a Bag of Smiles delivered to their door. You never know, someday you may get a knock at the door and see Ginny—the delivery lady—smiling back at you. 

Only a small number of nominations have come in these last months, which means SALS isn’t reaching as many deserving people as possible. Please nominate your friends, hardworking parents, caregivers and whanau to give them a smile and show your support. The best part about SALS is seeing nominees receive their Bags of Smiles, says Hollie and Ginny. 

Make someone's day a bit better right now by nominating