Kiwibank gave all of its staff the gift of giving last Christmas. Instead of a traditional Christmas gift, each staff member received a Good Gift Card from The Good Registry — which they could use to make donations to their favourite causes.
How Good did it feel to give to others at Christmas? We asked a few of the Kiwibank team, and here’s what they told us.
Mel Brooking wishes there was more support in New Zealand for people living in poverty, especially children; and for people living with mental illness.
And at Christmas she felt great about being able to help those causes, with the Good Gift Card that she received from her employer, Kiwibank.
Mel says she was delighted to receive a Good Gift Card instead of a traditional Christmas gift, so that she could support causes she cares about.
She divided her Good Gift Card between three charities that are making life better for thousands of New Zealanders living in poverty or experiencing mental illness: KidsCan, Lifeline and the Mental Health Foundation.
“Poverty and mental health are issues that I feel New Zealand needs to have a real focus on so I felt that I was contributing.
“It felt good to be able to donate — and to have a gift from Kiwibank that enables us to make a difference to other people and wider New Zealand. I know that every little bit helps.”
Michael Holden’s youngest son Thomas is only three and has already been admitted to the Wellington Children’s Hospital about 30 times.
So when he was given a Good Gift Card from Kiwibank for Christmas, he knew exactly which charity he wanted to donate to.
“There are so many worthy causes but Wellington Children’s Hospital is close to my heart so I gave it all to them.”
With Thomas spending so much time in hospital with respiratory related sickness, he says he has been able to see the good work that the Wellington Hospitals Foundation does.
“Your tax dollars go to the basic services but all of the comforts are provided by donations” — things like toys to play with and clean pyjamas to put on, which can be a God-send for the children and their families during a stressful time.
“I’ve been at Kiwibank for 10 years and we’ve had heaps of various nic-nac type presents in the past, and to be honest they’re often things that might not get used. It definitely feels more valuable giving something to people who need it, and especially something that I have a connection with.”
Michael has been encouraging other staff at Kiwibank to give to the Hospitals Foundation if they can’t decide who to donate to with their Good Gift Cards … so if you also received a Good Gift Card for Christmas and haven’t redeemed it yet, why not support the children’s hospital too!
Jess Segal has been participating in Camp Quality NZ as an adult companion for the past four years, and has seen hundreds of children who are recovering from or going through cancer treatment have the times of their lives.
She’s also seen the struggle of raising funds for each camp. So for two years in a row, she’s used the Good Gift Card that she received for Christmas from Kiwibank, to give back to Camp Quality.
“It feels amazing, and I know what can be done with the amount that I was able to give and that I encouraged others to give, and I know what that means for a child who is able to attend a camp.
“The experience that these kids get with Camp Quality is the most life-changing, phenomenal experience. The confidence that they leave with after five days is incredible.”
She says that even $10 can buy a sunhat (like the one she’s wearing in the photo with her camp buddy Addie below) — a really important piece of equipment at the camps, especially with children like Addie who have had cancer treatment and are extra susceptible to sunburn.
“We never go outside without sunhat and we go through a lot of suncream every day!”
Jess says that being able to support such a good cause with her Christmas gift from Kiwibank is an amazing feeling. “Most of the gifts that I’ve been given before this either broke or were edible and lasted all of five minutes. But with this you get a hit of dopamine when you give, and that is really helpful for wanting to do more.”