Share your love this Valentine’s Day

Calling all friends, lovers, and #allthesingleladies.

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon. While we’d usually share crazy stats about how much money will be spent on flowers ($1.9B), candy ($1.7B), and jewelry ($4.4),this year we’re kicking things off on a different note.

We want to underscore our commitment to championing nonprofit organizations that protect and serve all people–of all religions–of all nationalities–always.

Heartful.ly exists to celebrate and honor life’s biggest moments by giving back.

This is a moment.

Join us this Valentine’s Day to provide relief to Syrian refugee families. Your donations will support the life saving work of Mercy Corps, a respected international nonprofit.

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On 2/14, the people you honor with a donation will receive an email with details of your gift and a message from you.

With our community united, we have the power to do amazing things.

GIVE A GIFT. CHANGE A LIFE.

 

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Heartful.ly’s 1st Birthday Bash!

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On November 29, Heartful.ly celebrated its first birthday in the most stylish way we know, by giving back. Over 125 D.C. influencers and friends of Heartful.ly spanning the events, tech, and nonprofit sectors gathered at The Loft at 600 F for an evening of fun festivities. Guests enjoyed (in no order of amazingness) a digital photo booth, home spun cotton candy, &pizza + chik-fil-a (omg, yes!), an ice cream sundae bar, and birthday themed libations. 

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In the spirit of our mission and the belief that life’s most important moments are a meaningful time to give back, the evening’s celebration benefitted Martha’s Table and their efforts in securing a brighter future for families across D.C.

Together, the Heartful.ly community was able to celebrate a milestone and champion an amazing cause. And now you can, too! Heartful.ly is no longer just a wedding registry. Celebrate your birthday with a wish list that gives back. Get started!

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A special thank you to our event sponsors: The Loft at 600 F, Ida Rose Events, GSP Consultants, Mission Man Media, Jason Martin Group, TD Bank, &pizza, Amavi Sweets, and Tickled Photo Booth and flowers by Stem and Thistle.

 

Celebrating International Day of the Girl Child

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As a sophomore at Georgetown University, I know that my problems are trivial in comparison to the challenges other girls and young women across the world encounter everyday. I feel incredibly blessed to have access to higher education and know that I will be able to marry the person I choose.

Today, October 11th, marks the International Day of the Girl Child, a day to further global efforts to create a world of equal opportunity for young women and girls. Adolescent girls are a particularly vulnerable demographic and face significant social, economic, and political obstacles. Their ability to develop into leaders and thrive is often inhibited by factors such as forced child marriage, limited access to education, and gender-based violence.

Too Young To Wed strives to give child marriage survivors a voice in the fight to end the global practice of forced child marriage. Through the use of powerful portraits and short films of child brides, the organization connects girls’ stories to governments, policymakers, and the public. The organization’s workshops provide survivors and girls at risk of child marriage a chance to heal, tell their own stories, and return to their communities as leaders in the fight against child marriage.

Learn more about their work here.

Engaged? Create a registry and support Too Young to Wed’s important work!

Happy World Teacher Day!

seva-mandirOctober 5th marks World Teachers’ Day, which provides us all with the opportunity to thank those who have taught us invaluable skills and helped us grow. On this day, we can also provide children who would not otherwise receive an education with these same opportunities.

Seva Mandir’s primary schools provide children in disadvantaged tribal areas across India with access to quality education in an interactive and joyful environment. The organization has been able to bring classrooms to over 580 villages across Rajasthan and hopes to expand its efforts in order to reach as many children as possible. Through providing underserved youth with an education, we are able to positively impact the futures of children and communities across the world.

Getting married? Create a registry to support Seva Mandir’s important work!

Evidence Action: Providing Safe Water to Communities in East and Southern Africa

Welcome back, lovely humans! It’s #ThirstyThursday (it’s still cool to say that, right?) so today we’re going to introduce you to an amazing impact-driven partner that’s working hard to make drinkable water accessible to everyone.

That’s right, we’re looking at you, Evidence Action!

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What’s the story?

Evidence Action scales proven development solutions to benefit millions of people around the world. They fill the gap between knowing “what works” and having impact at scale. They do this by implementing cost-effective interventions whose efficacy is backed by substantial rigorous evidence. Furthermore, they identify innovative, appropriate financing mechanisms and build best-practice operational models.

Evidence Action continuously self-evaluates, learns, and improves their models for scaling with a commitment to transparency on progress, impact, and value for money.

(Awesome, right?)

The organization’s current initiatives include Evidence Action Beta, which focuses on pressure-testing promising interventions, and Deworm the World Initiative, which scales up school-based deworming programs worldwide.

Last but certainly not least, Evidence Action’s Dispensers for Safe Water initiative is an entrepreneurial program that dramatically expands access to water treatment at an extremely low cost for more than 4.7 million people in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda.

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Source: WaterAid.org
The Problem

Unsafe drinking water is a global problem, with almost one billion people lacking access to a reliable water supply. Over 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Unsafe drinking water is also a leading cause of diarrheal disease with nearly two billion cases each year globally. An estimated 760,000 children under five die from diarrhea each year, making it a leading cause of childhood mortality.

The Solution

Evidence Action focuses on sustainable service delivery, not a one-time hardware installation. Dispensers for Safe Water are a proven solution to the global crisis of access to clean water. Evidence Action treats water with chlorine, a proven, low-cost water treatment solution. Success is measured by actual use of chlorine, and by leveraging cues from behavioral economics to achieve high rates of adoption. They take on the challenge of sustainability and solve it, but do not resort to user fees which would screen out many households.

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Source: USAID.gov | Photo Credit: Jonathan Kalan
How it works
  1. We place chlorine dispensers in the immediate vicinity of wells and other water sources.
  2. Community members go to their water source to fetch water, place their bucket or jerrican under the dispenser, turn the valve to dispense a correctly measured amount of diluted chlorine, and then fill the bucket with water.
  3. The chlorine disinfects the water as a community member is walking home, and by the time he or she arrives, much of the chlorine smell has dissipated and they are left with clean, safe water that stays safe for 2-3 days.
Sustainability
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Source: EvidenceAction.org

Dispenser access is free to users, but the organization does not rely solely on donations or grant funding to cover the costs of service delivery. Instead, Evidence Action works with experts to develop, monitor, audit, issue and sell carbon credits. They then use the revenues earned from carbon sales to reinvest in the program, ensuring that it is sustainable over the long term.

Get involved

You can make a donation in support of any of Evidence Action’s initiative’s on their website. Alternatively, if you’re tying the knot sometime soon, consider creating a charitable wedding registry that helps provide safe water to communities in East and Southern Africa!

The Olive Branch for Children: Bringing education to every child in Tanzania

Early childhood education services—such as kindergarten and preschool—are not available in the majority of rural communities in Tanzania. This results in missed opportunities for the country’s most vulnerable youth to develop their academic foundations and skills before entering primary school. Moreover, children who do not receive early childhood education often have negative attitudes towards school which can lead to low attendance rates throughout their primary school years.

In an attempt to tackle this problem, Deborah McCracken founded The Olive Branch for Children in 2005 with the objective to help remote communities in Tanzania assess their own primary needs and establish programs that target the most vulnerable.

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The organization runs a wide range of programs focusing on issues like HIV/AIDS prevention and care, general medical support, food security, economic autonomy, and women and girls’ empowerment. All of The Olive Branch for Children’s programs share the common goal of establishing community-led programs that empower locals and generate models that can be replicated in other communities throughout Tanzania and elsewhere.

Early Childhood Education

One of this organization’s most impactful projects is their Montessori Outreach Program, which brings quality early childhood education to Tanzania’s most vulnerable areas. Compared to traditional didactic teaching methods, the Montessori methodology is interactive, encourages self-discipline and independence, and fosters respect within the classroom.

The Montessori Outreach Program focuses on training selected villagers as teachers in the basics of Montessori Education to then establish village-operated Montessori kindergartens in their communities. Since 2008, Canadian Montessori teachers have volunteered to travel to this region and conduct 2-3 week training seminars for the local teachers. Site visits to each school are also done during this time. Teachers from the schools meet monthly with the Tanzanian Montessori supervisor and a representative from The Olive Branch to review Montessori materials and work collaboratively on improving their schools.

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Some of The Olive Branch for Children’s target communities are 80km from a main road and over 20km from a primary school. For some children, the remote Montessori kindergartens will be their only access to education. Currently, there are 28 kindergartens running in partnership with the organization.

Sustainability

obc1The schools enrolled in the Montessori Outreach Program are 100% owned and operated by their communities. All Montessori kindergartens in the program have school and community advisory committees. After the initial training, the program continues to build the capacity of the strongest teachers within the program to function as mentors for new and struggling teachers. In addition, The Olive Branch for Children’s trainers are volunteers, offering their services free of charge.

Get Involved

You can support The Olive Branch for Children’s Montessori Outreach Program by making a donation or volunteering. Alternatively, if you happen to be getting married, you can create a charitable wedding registry that helps bring early childhood education to rural communities in Tanzania!

Heartful.ly Says “I Do” to Partnership with GlobalGiving!

Hey, hey, heartful humans! Have you heard the news? Heartful.ly just said “I DO” to a beautiful partnership with GlobalGiving, and we couldn’t be more excited!

GlobalWho? 

GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community for nonprofits. It makes it safe and easy for people and companies to give to local projects anywhere in the world, providing nonprofits with the tools, training, and support they need to become more effective. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $200 million from more than 500,000 donors for more than 14,000 projects.

What does this mean for Heartful.ly?

Two words: More Love. Over 1,000 new projects have been added to our already robust platform through this fab new partnership, which means that there now even more ways to give back on your special day!

This huge expansion means “we can focus on growth in the wedding industry with confidence that the supply of vetted, diverse nonprofit projects will scale without compromising quality or transparency,” said Kate, our founder and CEO.

To celebrate this sensational news, today we’re featuring FIVE new projects you can support by creating your very own Heartful.ly registry.

MAVUNO

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Mavuno works in rural villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mobilizing and training community leaders to create their own business solutions to the problems of extreme poverty. You can now use your big day to support Mavuno’s livestock program, which aids in the development of proper animal shelters and optimizes livestock activities to generate wealth.

MADRE

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MADRE is an international women’s organization that is advancing women’s human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women and girls face. A registry in support of MADRE can provide counseling and art therapy to help Colombian sexual violence survivors heal from their wretched experiences.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

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The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation is a small, effective charity funding key projects in Africa and Asia working to save critically endangered mammals in the wild. Now, you can throw a wild wedding that also helps save the wild tigers of Assam, India.

Global Autism Project

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Global Autism Project is an international nonprofit that helps train teachers to work with children with Autism all over the world. If you want to support this organization’s mission, you can now create a registry that helps finance the skills local educators need to effectively work with and empower autistic kids.

Project HOPE
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Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. The organization is responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis through the provision of medicines and medical supplies. Now, you can use your wedding to help support the health of refugees moving through Macedonia.