From 1 September 2020 - and for the rest of the month - $2 from every Unholy Donut sold will go to the Neonatal Trust, which has lost more than $100,000 in fundraising and donations due to Covid-19.
Each year the Neonatal Trust supports 5,000 families with babies in intensive or special care units, and when they've gone home. They also work closely with all 23 of the neonatal units in New Zealand.
10% of all babies are born early (before 37 weeks' gestation), and the Trust's services and support are in high demand. They receive zero government funding, so rely solely on the donations of individuals and organisations.
Rachel Friend, Executive Director of the Neonatal Trust, says Covid-19 has taken its toll.
It's been a rollercoaster ride, a bit like a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) journey
"As soon as the first Lockdown hit, we had to close our doors, as we weren't deemed an essential service. A vast amount of our funding was cut, as our regular fundraising events were cancelled and funding from grants became strained. In just a few weeks, we lost between $100,000 - $150,000.
"While this was happening, we had a team who are usually so hands-on at helping others restricted to their homes. We had to pull together to work out how we could reach out but in a new way. And of course, premature babies were still being born during Level 4.
This funding will be game-changing for us
"Overnight, we moved our developmental playgroups from being in person to Zoom, so any neonatal family across NZ could dial in to spend time with our Occupational Therapist online – and see other families. We got priority delivery codes from Countdown for online shopping for all neonatal families; we also set up a 'Parent to Parent' support line so any family in need of a listening ear could call us," says Rachel Friend.
The Neonatal Trust says the funds raised by HELL and its customers will make an immediate and material difference. They will go towards essential equipment (bedside earphones, privacy screens, merino wraps, etc.) as well as support their development playgroups and other vital services.
Ben Cumming, HELL CEO, says having a premature baby is a scary and stressful experience.
"Without the Neonatal Trust, the journey to health for the 5,000 babies born early each year would be much harder. As soon as we heard they needed help, we knew we had to do something.
"We know not all of our customers will understand how small premature babies can be. A micro nappy fits around one of our Unholy Donuts, and that's at the very start of a premature baby's life. They can also face developmental challenges and potentially ongoing health issues.
"As well as raising money for the Trust, we also want to raise awareness amongst Kiwis who don't know what premature babies (and their families) endure. If everyone orders at least one Unholy Donut this month, we will meet our target," says Ben Cumming.
HELL has been a long-term supporter of the Neonatal Trust, providing vouchers for their packs to parents on Mother's Day, Father's Day and over Christmas. You can order your Unholy donut here, and help support the Neonatal Trust this September.