Each year since 2008, the Fargo-based Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Institute have joined forces to create a unique “virtual” fundraising event known as Giving Hearts Day.

This 24-hour, online give-a-thon has dramatically increased the fundraising success of charities of North Dakota and western Minnesota — and this Thursday, Feb. 13, 10 local nonprofits are joining in the effort, by asking area residents to #CountMe and go to givingheartsday.org to donate to their favorite charities.

When you make a donation of $10 or more on that day, your donation to many of these organizations will be multiplied, thanks to matching donations from the community. Dakota Medical Foundation also provides additional donation incentives throughout the day.

Here are the local groups that have all been chosen to participate. All are excited about sharing their missions with local supporters during this special fundraising campaign.

American Cancer Society: "The American Cancer Society's mission is to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer," said Marjorie Berg with the cancer society. "We are the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. Your gifts will directly impact patients and families in our community. A $500 gift will provide a cancer patient with five nights free lodging at Hope Lodge; with a $100 donation, 10 rides to and from treatment can be provided for cancer patients, while $25 provides free 24/7 cancer call center support for one person. All gifts of $10 or more, up to $10,000, will be doubled thanks to a generous matching donation."

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Detroit Lakes and Perham: "Funds raised for Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes will enhance our programming and provide more opportunities for club members like specialty guests and materials to support learning, the creative arts and physical fitness in a safe environment," said Alyssa Hoskins, communications and special projects coordinator for the club.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Detroit Lakes and Perham are seeking to raise a total of $20,000 this year — their largest ask thus far, says the clubs' executive director, Patrick Petermann, to help offset the loss of revenue from their annual WE Fest raffle and service in the WE Fest VIP Hospitality area, as well as some grant funding that was lost due to state budget cuts.

Detroit Mountain Recreation Area: Detroit Mountain Recreation Area is hoping to raise funds for its Ski Angel scholarships and educational programming.

"Detroit Mountain partners with other nonprofit groups through our Ski Angel program to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors regardless of socioeconomic background," said Megan Smith, Detroit Mountain's inside operations manager. "We have reached over 32 schools in the Fargo-Moorhead and north Minnesota region, providing instruction, lift tickets and rentals to over 2,139 people since conception in 2014, with over 100 scholarships to individuals and families seeking support with free or discounted rentals, lift tickets and lessons. Our partnership with HOPE Inc., has provided adaptive skiing to children that are mobility challenged at no cost to their families. With Giving Hearts Day funding we are able to reach more families and children in our community."

Essentia Health St. Mary’s Foundation: "Essentia Health St. Mary’s breast health project aims to provide better care for women right here in our community," LeAnn Mouw, director of development and marketing planner for Essentia Health St. Mary's, explained. "The $400,000 project includes implementing a breast navigator program to help patients find their way through a complex and often confusing breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Plus, we’ll be purchasing additional equipment including a breast MRI coil that will raise the level of breast imaging we can provide by adding efficiency and accuracy. We will upgrade the treatment and waiting rooms to be larger, more private and comfortable. These improvements will help our outstanding providers and staff give patients even more exceptional service and help us meet the growing demand for breast services in our community."

Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge: "The Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge is a group of volunteers that advocate for the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge," said Nancy Fischer, the organization's office manager and nature store manager. "We are committed to protecting wild places for future generations. We depend on your generous donations to help provide supplies and busing for the Environmental Education programs at the refuge. Each year, hundreds of local school students are given the opportunity to participate in an exciting outdoor classroom experience with a focus on creating a bond between child and nature while developing the future generation of nature advocates."

Health Resources LifeCare Center: "Health Resources seeks to remove the obstacles families face so they are empowered to make life affirming choices and also to help our clients create stable, loving families," said Britton Ramsey, executive director of Health Resources LifeCare Center. "We opened in Detroit Lakes in 2016 and have seen steady growth over the last three and a half years, so we are running out of space! We are currently in the process of doubling our square footage for our pregnancy and parenting education, increasing the size of our baby boutique, adding a reception area, and updating our medical room to be more private and welcoming as we prepare to receive our new ultrasound machine this spring. Funds raised on Giving Hearts Day will be matched and will help offset the expansion costs and allow us to continue to grow and better serve our clients and community."

Holy Rosary Catholic School: "Through a team of dedicated, faith-filled, and professional faculty, Holy Rosary School offers a learning environment that supports spiritual growth and academic excellence for all students in preschool through grade 8," said Terry Paskey, the school's fundraising coordinator. "With that in mind, it is our goal to raise $200 per student. Please consider sponsoring one of our 139 students on this Giving Hearts Day. All donations of $10 or more will be matched up to $6,500."

Lakes Crisis & Resource Center: "Lakes Crisis & Resource Center is raising funds to support and sustain its Children’s Services and its Kinship mentoring program for youth," said DelRae Chivers, outreach and development coordinator for the resource center. "Kinship follows the adage that every kid is just ONE caring adult away from being a success story. Additionally, donations will help provide resources for men, women, and children seeking safer places and healthier relationships in their lives. Donations over $10 will be matched by generous anonymous donors."

Lend A Hand Up: "Donations to Lend A Hand Up boost financial help and hope for local families experiencing a medical crisis," said Lend a Hand Up Director Jeana Peinovich. "One hundred percent of gifts to Lend A Hand Up help families. Zero percent goes to administration, because the program’s operational expenses are covered by Dakota Medical Foundation. On Giving Hearts Day, a $55,000 match is in place to increase the impact of donor generosity."

Minnesota Flyers Gymnastics: Minnesota Flyers Gymnastics is raising funds for its FlyTime program, which provides movement and fitness training for children with special needs. "FlyTime provides the opportunity for children to have new experiences with movement and body awareness plus training in balance, agility strength and overall fitness," said Kari Wendt, the club's executive director.