Buying a tie for Father’s Day? One word of advice: Don’t.

If your dad already seems to have everything, you might be looking for something different — a gift with lasting significance. Consider honoring Dad with a gift that helps another dad: a microenterprise loan.

By Shawna Templeton, World Vision U.S.
Published June 5, 2013 at 12:00am PDT

What does Dad really want for Father’s Day? This annual question always proves to be a head-scratcher, especially since Dad never quite seems to get the same level of public recognition as Mom historically has.

Consider this: Mother’s Day started in 1914. Dad’s day in the sun only began in 1972.

The spending gap is narrowing, but in 2012, more than $18 billion was spent on Mom, while an estimated $12.7 billion was spent on Dad.

A gift with lasting significance

Maybe this is the year that we take it to the next level for dear old Dad.

Tried-and-true gift items for Dad typically include gadgets, sporting events, dinners, and yes, even underwear and the dreaded tie. A survey by found that 65 percent of fathers would prefer no gift at all to yet another tie.

But if your dad already seems to have everything, you might be looking for something different: a gift with lasting significance.

Is your father the type who naturally seeks to care for others? You can honor him with a gift that helps another dad — empowering that father to care for his family, even under the most difficult circumstances.

Dignity is a priceless gift. But you can help provide exactly that by funding a small loan that a father in another country can use to open or expand his own business.

Microenterprise: Dignity through the small business model

Through World Vision Micro, you can fund a loan for an entrepreneur in need of support in countries like Bolivia, Mexico, the Philippines, Kenya, Cambodia, and Ethiopia.

With a loan from you that honors Dad, another dad can start a carpentry shop, buy farm animals, expand a small restaurant, or hire more employees for his weaving venture. These businesses can create jobs to benefit the whole community.

Once the loan is repaid to the local microfinance institution (the current repayment rate is 97 percent), your donation recycles over and over again to help an ever-growing number of entrepreneurs in the same country. Just one donation could help hundreds of people in the years to come.

By honoring Dad this way, you’ll send a powerful message about the compassionate person he raised you to be. And this will be a Father’s Day he won’t forget.

How you can help

Pray for fathers around the world, especially those in developing countries who struggle to care for their families.

Fund a loan for an entrepreneur through World Vision. Microfinance gives hardworking fathers the opportunity to move from dependence to financial self-sustainability — empowering them to change their own lives and the lives of their children.

Looking for other ways to honor Dad this Father’s Day? Consider making a donation to our Maximum Impact Fund — which provides assistance where needed most — and choose from a selection of free gifts like a coffee set, water bottle, CDs, books, and more.


  • A survey found that 65 percent of dads would prefer no gift at all to another tie for Father’s Day.
  • This Father’s Day, you can honor your dad by donating a small business loan in his name to a hardworking father in need in another country.

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