Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Do Foundation smackdown. Winner: Emmaus House

Okay. Being half hippie, I was researching a way to make my registries profitable for those less fortunate then myself and my fiance; after all, we have lived together for 13 years: if we don't have it, we likely don't need it. Thus, our mindset is that we should spread our good fortune and what better way than through the generosity of our family and friends?

I recognize, however, that some or our brethren may find this disconcerting; therefore, we have taken stock of our smallish NYC apartment (790 square feet) and have created a list of items that are in dire need of replacing (e.g., our poor blender whose base has been cracked for 2 months, the 4-year-old sheets that are paper thin, the colander that has melted on the left-hand side, etc.).

So, in our effort to "do good" for this event that will cost more that the down payment for our aforementioned smallish NYC apartment, I did a little online research and came across the "I Do Foundation." Although it does not get the strongest review from the Better Business Bureau, I decided to register with them anyway.

The premise is that they partner with popular retailers and a percentage of the base value of registry items are donated to charities of our choosing. Simple? Not as much as I had hoped. First, Bed Bath and Beyond is not a partner organization. What?! They are the holy grail of wedding registries! Second, higher-end stores (e.g. Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, etc.) can only be accessed if one registers first with This boils down to registering to a minimum of 3 sites just to get some stupid sheets and a 3% donation (i.e., $30) to Global Fund for Women. I think I'll just write a check.

In their defense, I easily linked a Target registry (which, frankly, I set up solely for one item for which I have been pining for months) and then decided that I would direct my more philanthropic guests to Emmaus House in Albany, NY, which is NOT a non 501(c)3, but is near and dear to my heart.

Taking the tenets of Emmaus House to heart, I have been reminded of something today: a charitable organization DOES NOT have to be tax exempt to do good and that most times simplicity is at your fingertips, if you are willing to reach out and grab it.

For more information on Emmaus House, or (better still!) to donate, please visit:


  1. I'm supposed to donate to some Catholic charity????? OK. Because I love you, I will consider it. But I'm a big fan of Heifer international and OxFam. They get most of my gifts. Wouldn't you like a water buffalo donated to someone in your name?

  2. Thanks for choosing I Do! Re: the BBB, I Do merged with on November 2009. Due to the merger it was unable comply with several areas required by the BBB. Please feel free to contact me directly for more info at grant (at)