Giving Hearts Day, set this year for Thursday, Feb. 11, is a kind of "one stop shop" for charitable givers looking to get the most out of their annual donations.

Anyone who makes a donation of $10 or more at givingheartsday.org — whether on that day or scheduled in advance — can see their donation to any of the 10 participating local organizations maximized, or even multiplied, thanks to matching gifts from businesses and individuals in the community that have been pledged in advance of the event.

This year's GHD campaign is particularly important, they say, given that COVID-19 safety restrictions have severely limited opportunities for hosting their usual annual fundraising events.

"I think we're all on the same page," said DelRae Whitley of the Detroit Lakes-based Lakes Crisis & Resource Center (one of the 10 participants in the GHD marketing collaborative). "We're quite grateful for the Giving Hearts Day event being online ... all of us have experienced having to change our in-person events this past year, whether it's holding them virtually or canceling them altogether, but this one was kind of refreshing. We didn't have to change much at all."

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The only thing that will look a little different this year, she added, is the in-person event that the 10 organizations in the GHD marketing collaborative will be holding at Detroit Lakes' Washington Square Mall on Feb. 11. While it will still take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. as in years past, "we'll all be wearing our Giving Hearts Day masks," Whitley added.

People can still contribute cash or check donations as well, she said, either by mailing checks to the participating organization(s) by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, or dropping their donation off at the mall on Feb. 11.

The reason why mailed donations need to arrive two days before the online event, she added, is that the participating organizations will need the extra day to set up the donations online. Individual donors can also schedule their donations at the GHD website anytime in advance of the Feb. 11 event, Whitley said.

The Fargo-based Dakota Medical Foundation also provides additional donation incentives throughout the day. DMF first began partnering with Impact Institute to host this unique virtual fundraising event in 2008. Since then, the 24-hour, online give-a-thon has dramatically increased the fundraising success of charities in North Dakota and western Minnesota, raising more than $90 million overall.

The 10 local groups that have chosen to participate in GHD this year are excited about sharing information about their missions and fundraising goals during this special event.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes: "The Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes has an anonymous match partner this year who is matching Giving Hearts Day gifts up to $25,000," said Alyssa Hoskins, the club's marketing and communications coordinator. "Gifts will go to work immediately supporting the ongoing critical work of mentoring local youth which happens every day at the club. When you show your love to the club, you provide great futures for local youth!"

  • Detroit Mountain Recreation Area: "Our Ski Angel Program helps us to promote our mission by providing outdoor programming to children, families and local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, the Crisis Center and Detroit Lakes School District, at little to no cost," said Detroit Mountain Operations Manager Megan Smith. "This year, due to COVID, outdoor recreation is busier than ever and the requests for additional scholarships and support have also increased."

  • Essentia Health St. Mary’s Foundation: Foundation Chair Melissa Lage says three key projects include new wireless fetal monitors; a Mamava Lactation Suite; and a Brevara Needle Specimen Machine. The foundation has also secured a $12,500 match for all GHD donations this year, from sources including the Detroit Lakes Area Community Foundation, Olaf Anderson Construction and EHSM volunteers.

  • Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge: "Our core mission is to connect children with nature," says Tina Pierce, Friends of Tamarac NWR communications coordinator. "We do this primarily through our environmental education program. As effective and popular as this program is, we realized years ago that we had a difficult time reaching children who have accessibility challenges. Thus we created our Access to Soar campaign, which would build paths through the woods near our Discovery Center that could be accessed by anyone who relies on mobility aids. "All donations will be dedicated to Access to Soar.

  • Health Resources LifeCare Center: "Money raised will be used to supply needed items for our onsite baby store, where pregnant and parenting families in our community can earn the items they need to provide for their babies, for updated and expanded topics of education materials, and to increase the technology needed to provide services to clients online," Health Resources Executive Director Britton Ramsey says.

  • Holy Rosary Catholic School: Funds "will enhance programming and learning opportunities for students; provide teachers with materials to enrich lessons and hands-on learning; offer new opportunities for providing up-to-date technology throughout the school; and support salaries to adequately compensate and retain quality teachers," says Terry Paskey, fundraising coordinator for the Detroit Lakes-based school.

  • Humane Society of the Lakes: "We will be using the majority of the donations to spay and neuter the animals that come into our care to provide the best outlook for population control and healthy living," HSL Development Coordinator Shelby Rasmussen. says. "The remaining funds will be spent on immunizations for future protection and care." Donations will be doubled up to $3,500 through sponsors at BTD.
  • Lakes Crisis & Resource Center: "LCRC helps men, women, and children get safer places and healthier relationships in their lives. This is done for children through its children’s services and Kinship programs," says Anna Sellin, LCRC executive director. Donations will be used to grow programming to support children within their familial relationships through its children’s services. Donations will also enrich Kinship, an adult/child mentoring program. Through an anonymous donor, all donations to LCRC are matched up to $10,000.

  • Lend A Hand Up: Donations will "enable the program to boost financial help for families experiencing substantial expenses due to a serious health issue," says Jeana Peinovich, director of LAHU. "Since Dakota Medical Foundation covers the program’s operational expenses, all gift made to and through Lend A Hand Up directly benefit eligible families."

  • Minnesota Flyers Gymnastics: "Minnesota Flyers uses the funds raised on Giving Hearts Day for our Flytime program," says Kari Wendt, MFG office manager. "Minnesota Flyers Gymnastics provides space, leadership, programming, and partners with the schools to provide staffing for fitness and sensory experiences for children with special needs. These classes are specifically designed for children who have special mobility, physical or social needs."



Giving Hearts Day is set for Thursday, Feb. 11 this year. The 24-hour, online fundraising event for Minnesota and North Dakota nonprofits has been going on every year since 2008. (Submitted photo)
Giving Hearts Day is set for Thursday, Feb. 11 this year. The 24-hour, online fundraising event for Minnesota and North Dakota nonprofits has been going on every year since 2008. (Submitted photo)

How to give

There are several ways to participate in Giving Hearts Day this year:

  • Log onto givingheartsday.org select donate, then search for your favorite non-profit(s). You may donate to as many charities as you wish.
  • Pre-schedule your giving: You can schedule your online giving before 11:59 p.m. Feb. 9 via the GHD website. You can even mail in a check to the participating organization(s), but it must arrive by Feb. 9.
  • Give online at the GHD website during the 24-hour giving period, 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11.
  • Donate in person at the Washington Square Mall in Detroit Lakes between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 11. A representative from each of the area non-profits who is participating in the collaborative will be there to share information about their organization and accept your generous donation.