Z Life: Give Heartful.ly

zenobia2My husband and I recently celebrated 15 years of wedded bliss. I loved our wedding. Amazing memories – I can recall it all; the gorgeous setting, our friends and fam, my dress, Matt and I exchanging our vows, and the stress of the gift registry. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good gift. I am a lover of gifts through and through. I definitely see the other side with the whole giving thing too… I’m just saying I am seriously down with receiving. That said, I still remember how strange it felt 15+ years ago to register, literally select (price point and all), what our guests should give my new husband and me at our wedding. Awkward.

I hear what you’re thinking – gift registries have been around for forever and yes – the registry process of giving tangible items to help set-up a new couple, or the arrival of a new baby definitely serves a purpose. However, the idea of gift giving has evolved in a very inspiring way.

My inspired friends, I gift you heartful.ly.  It’s just like a regular gift registry, but instead of stuff, couples raise awareness and money for causes that move them and directly impact the world. Couples who are apparently waaayyy more mature than I was 15 years ago because looking back I really liked the pretty packages that kept coming to our apartment door. I truly treasured my KitchenAid, the Pottery Barn dish towels, and the Kate Spade soap dispensers. I also felt a little yuck about the superficial nature of it all. But I digress.

Kate Glantz, Heartful.ly’s Founder and CEO and the most darling do-gooder I’ve met in some time, created Heartful.ly after serving in the Peace Corps. Glantz witnessed, no matter how poor, people in Tanzania celebrated life. At weddings strangers were welcomed and fed, community was everything. Regardless of how little Tanzanians had, they took care of one another. Glantz was so moved by the generosity of spirit that sustained the community in which she served, it was then that she decided that life’s most important moments are the best times to give back. And voilà, that’s how and why Heartful.ly was born.

Here’s how it works:  Say I was mature enough to cancel my Marshall Field’s registry 15+ years ago and instead, directed my guests to Heartful.ly. My guests would go on-line and choose a “gift” from a developmental project that Matt and I decided to partner with through the organization. For example, feeding the starving children in Senegal would be a project on our Heartful.ly registry. As my guest you would read about the problems and solutions of the project and choose your gift. Options are clearly listed such as; medical care for a child, a meal plan for a certain amount of time, even fun events like a soccer outing, and so on.

How it works-heartful.lyMonetary amounts are associated with each gift so guest can spend as they choose. As my guest, you’d then leave a sweet note wishing Matt and me a lifetime of happiness and blessings for ten children, and we would receive an email notifying us of your generous wedding gift and over-achieving blessing.

Three months after our totally off-the-hook, exclusive wedding, all of us would receive an update on the project via email. We’d all feel so good about our teamwork to make the world a better place, realize how inspired we are to keep making a difference, and toast to heartful.ly and the sanctimony of marriage. It’s a beautiful thing. I sheepishly admit to my way more mature self today, the scenario above sounds infinitely better to me than using my KitchenAid for another round of banana bread. But I digress, again.

Heartful.ly’s projects range in purpose and geographic areas around the globe. The company collects a small service fee and credit card fee to keep up and running, there is no fee to create an on-line registry.

So, would I do it all again? A heartful.ly “I do!”