Charities like Sweet Louise are used to making a little go a long way.
Without any government funding, the organisation relies on donations to carry out its work supporting New Zealanders living with incurable breast cancer.
But for the past 12 months, Sweet Louise’s mission to support kiwi women with incurable breast cancer diagnoses has been transformed with free courier deliveries, courtesy of NZ Post’s Delivering for Good programme.
Now in its third year, the programme selects around a dozen community groups each year in April to receive a year’s worth of free courier services. The public also gets a chance to vote for the organisation they want to see receive a second year’s worth of free deliveries. Voting for this year’s winner starts today and is open for the next 2 weeks.
Sweet Louise CEO Catrin Devonald says her team was ecstatic to win last year’s public vote.
“I don’t think we realised what a difference it was going to make,” she says.
As part of its service, Sweet Louise sends care packs and vouchers to all those they support and their families – and without the usual courier costs, the charity has been able to offer all-important extras like donated Mother’s Day gifts and Christmas presents.
Devonald says her team has had amazing feedback on those extras, clearly illustrated by Karen, who was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer at the age of just 38.
“When you’re used to receiving bills or medical related mail, the last thing I expected was to receive a gift package from Sweet Louise. Filled with items encouraging me to have some fun and make time for some self-care, it was a great reminder that I’m more than just my diagnosis.”
Devonald goes on, saying “Suddenly a whole world of opportunity opened up. We can send things out urgently and reach people in remote, rural areas that we just wouldn’t have been able to do in the past.”
As well as providing offerings that encourage recipients to have some fun, the Delivering for Good programme has also made a huge difference in sending treatment focused care packs to women across the country.
“A lot of women lose weight when they are going through cancer treatment and they feel the cold an awful lot more, so being able to send a care pack that includes a quilt, and to be able to get it to them overnight, it’s just phenomenal. It has meant we can spread the connection and the kindness further than ever before.”
NZ Post Community and Social Impacts Manager, Carolynn Gubb says the business launched the Delivering for Good programme to make this kind of difference in the day-to-day running of the country’s charities.
“We know how vital the work of charities and social organisations is in supporting our communities,” she says.
“As part of our social contribution, we wanted to help support that work in an authentic way.By providing free courier services, we’re helping these organisations free up resources which they can then use to expand and develop new areas of their work. It means they can help more people and have an even greater impact.”
Devonald says the charity is looking forward to being able to do much more for people living with incurable breast cancer in 2023.
“Delivering For Good has gone an immense way towards us being able to do all of the little extra things that we want to, knowing that we can afford to do it now,” she says.
“We’ve suddenly got a great way to connect directly with those we support. The money that would have been spent on courier services has been directed to our frontline services to provide practical support to New Zealanders living with a diagnosis of incurable breast cancer. It’s absolutely huge. I can’t thank the public and NZ Post enough.”