“The goal for this year is to raise awareness that is just extraordinary, where we have over 75,000 people giving their time, their talent, and their treasure,” Executive Director of Dakota Medical Foundation Pat Traynor said.
On this Giving Hearts Day, charities hope for funding and getting more volunteers in North Dakota and Minnesota.
“There are charities that help our animals, there are zoos that are all involved across North Dakota, Northwest Minnesota. There’s schools involved, there’s tons of Veteran causes,” said Traynor.
Giving Hearts Day was established to get people to give generously to support organizations like the Bismarck Cancer Center with its daily operations.
“Transportation assistance, patient lodging, spiritual emotional care, nutrition counseling, our survivorship counseling program. All of those are offered because of donations like this,” said Dana Hager, education coordinator for Bismarck Cancer Center.
It’s not only about giving financially but also investing time, which Hager says there is plenty to do.
“Several different opportunities to volunteer from special event volunteers, we do Giving Hearts Day, but we also hold other events throughout the year. We also have volunteers who sign up within the Bismarck Cancer Center itself,” said Hager.
The Medora Foundation also takes part in Giving Hearts Day. Their goal is to use funds to invest in children, allowing them to have more field trips and offer free musicals.
“Someday, we want to make the Medora Musical free for kids always. What we do right now is host these free kids’ week. It’s usually in July,” said Tim Olson, the Medora Foundation communications specialist.
Giving Hearts Day has also helped families like Denise Fettig-Loftenses and her sister, Debbie whose parents both were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
“To be able to have the free resources that the Alzheimer’s Association gives us has been a lifeboat for us,” said Denise Fettig-Loftenes.
“When you’re in an area that you’re not familiar with, they will guide you,” said Debbie Fettig.
Organizers of Giving Hearts Day say they are hoping this year will be bigger than previous years.
“It’s really the greatest day for bringing out the best that we all have to offer each other in helping our neighbor,” said Traynor.