Remember when Dad gave you the last of his coins so you could race out to the ice cream truck? Gave you that critical financial advice? Or perhaps loaned you the cash to buy a house or start your dream business? Well known Kiwis remember their Bank of Dad moments below.

This Father’s Day, instead of paying back The Bank of Dad, ChildFund wants you to pay it forward.

A microloan purchased from ChildFund’s Gifts that Grow online catalogue is a meaningful Father’s Day present that will honour Dad’s years of support while also helping a young person in Sri Lanka start their own business and break free from poverty.

“What better way to recognise Dad’s generosity over the years than to emulate it yourself?” says ChildFund New Zealand CEO Paul Brown. “Just like Dad did for you through advice or help along the way, you can have a massive impact on someone else’s life and success too.”

As a father of two young boys, Paul says a gift from the Gifts that Grow catalogue fits the bill perfectly at Father’s Day. “It is meaningful enough to pull at the heartstrings of even the toughest exterior but is also very practical.

“For a young person in Sri Lanka, a microloan is a tangible and life-changing gift that will enable them to start a business. Most importantly it will empower people to build a sustainable future for themselves and their family, free from poverty.”

Already, more than 1,500 women and men have received microloans to start businesses such as food production, tailoring, and fishing. The loans are paid back into the community to help others, with the small interest payment going towards supporting feeding in preschools.


Sir Bob Harvey’s first memory of money is a priceless one with his father…


“Old photos do jog the memory… its 1943, I am 3 and my father is 22, its at Mission Bay, a Sunday in February and he is home from Sea. The car is small and black and there is blanket on the grass. That day my mother swims, he does not. He has long pants and a white singlet maybe, no shoes. He takes my hand and gives me two pennies – these are my first memory of money... I hold them very tight and we walk to a wooden shop that sells ice cream over the road from the beach. The coins are copper and I hand them over. The ice cream is large and my first. As we walk back it falls from the cone onto the hot road. My mother takes me into the water for a swim. Later she takes a photo of me and my father… we are both smiling.”


Hilary Barry describes her late father as a treasure – full of wise words and calm counsel, but there was one particular gift that came along at just the right time…


“It was a fridge in my first flat.  I couldn’t afford one and was living like a freedom camper buying and throwing out milk each day because I didn’t have somewhere to chill it. He bought me a second hand Kelvinator fridge that I treasured and that followed me from flat to flat for years.”


Danielle Cormack’s father gave her priceless and valuable guidance.


“When I was old enough my dad encouraged me to get odd jobs to earn my own money, he then instructed me how to be financially wise which enabled me independence and freedom.”


Jehan Casinader’s father taught him the value of sacrifice and hard work.


“He worked at night, and studied during the day. He wanted to change careers, so that he could provide security and stability for our family. He has always valued his family more than his job.”


Miriama Kamo says she drew wisdom from the Bank of Dad, not money, and is all the richer for it.


“My parents had five kids, they worked hard, but it wasn’t until we were older that we realised how hard they worked to make sure we always had what we needed.  My dad didn’t give us money for big purchases, he did better than that.  He taught us how to work, save, and value what we had, and to strive for what we wanted.”


Erin Simpson shares a little known secret about her super generous Dad…


“Every fortnight my dad will still set aside a whole morning and drive hundreds kilometres around the greater areas of the Waikato simply fetching up employees pay slips and invoices in-order for them to get paid on time 'by him' due to some of them living in areas that aren't accessible to internet or certain technology! He has done this for his entire farming career and if you ask him every second Wednesday where he is, he will lie and say he's simply checking the cows!  It is this gesture that has had his children laughing for years; but it is this gesture that has also taught us the importance of human contact, leadership, consistency and more importantly always putting others first .”


Jason Reeves’ father has led by example in one of life’s most rewarding roles – being a Dad. From the sideline at rugby games, to attending school camps, to helping Jason get his first after school job and now as a grandfather…


“My Dad's taught me all kinds of things - but the best lesson is the one he's still teaching me: how to be a Dad. If I can be the kind of Dad to my kids, as he is to me, I'll be stoked.”


Alex and Corban’s fathers taught them the value of time and money, and the joy of giving. 


Corban and his Dad shared a love of projects. “I recall being around the age of five when Dad would pay me 75c an hour to be his assistant mechanic working on old Morris Minors. I learnt all the tools, I developed a love of mechanics, building, creating and my Dad and I developed a great relationship! Most of my creativity and knowledge of mechanics stems from my father’s influence. There’s nothing better than sitting down and brainstorming some wacky idea with Dad.”


Alex says her Dad taught her how to give back. “From the age of twelve I had my first job, and he would be right alongside me helping to create budgets and spreadsheets so I could learn how to save up for my own independence. Dad would always explain that with working hard and earning money, you then have a silent responsibility to give a percentage away to people who are in need or to places that need the help.”

ChildFund’s Gifts that Grow is an online catalogue of alternative gifts that provide sustainable futures for children and their families in developing countries. There are gifts for every interest and budget, from seeds to goats to carpentry tools. 


To order online here or call 0800 223 111. Purchasers receive a special gift card explaining the gift and how it will benefit the recipient, and also get a ‘gift back’ via a full tax credit.

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