Students can give back to the community this Valentine’s Season
Valentine’s Day is about date nights and romantic gestures, but this season is also about giving back to your community. Giving Hearts day is on Feb. 10, and is celebrated by donating time and money to various nonprofit organizations. Various organizations around the midwest participate in this event and seek participation for people around their local communities.
The event began in 2008 with the idea to raise money for multiple organizations. Since its creation they have raised $112 million for charities. According to the Giving Hearts Day website, the idea was that, “…around Valentine’s Day, ask people to show affection to not only people they love but charities, too.” Giving Hearts acts as a platform to connect community members to their local nonprofits, making it easier to donate and learn about the organization.
There are nearly 550 organizations that are connected to Giving Hearts. These organizations range from animal shelters to food pantries.
The event is one of the most successful and longest running giving events in the nation, and has allowed organizations in Minnesota and North Dakota to raise money. The organizations are also able to connect with volunteers and promote their charity, giving them a chance to explain the mission of their organization.
Last year Giving Hearts raised $22 million through donations.
Sweepstakes also help raise money for non-profits while allowing members of the community to win a prize. Businesses are able to donate goods to help raise money for the non-profits. This year Gate City Bank is giving away a 2022 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss. Other organizations donated gifts to help Giving Hearts raise money. Those who donate will be entered to win 1 of 18 prizes that have been provided by Giving Hearts Day sponsors.
More than just donations, Giving Hearts Day’s “annual event helps charities elevate awareness and cultivate donor relationships.” Organizations are able to share their story and directly interact with donors, which will benefit them year round.
North Dakota State University encourages their students to participate and get involved with these organizations. “While we may not have a lot of money to give to the nonprofits that keep our communities alive, what we do have is time,” said NDSU Volunteer Network Staffer Grace McCulloch.
“It’s easy to focus on ourselves especially as school gets difficult and schedules get busy, so Giving Hearts Day is a brief but meaningful opportunity to shift the focus to the members of our community who need it most,” said McCulloch.
Since its creation Giving Hearts Day have raised $112 million for charities in the region and provided for hundreds of organizations to benefit.
North Dakota State University clubs and organizations are participants in Giving Hearts Day. Bison Strides is one of these organizations. They partner “horses and humans to benefit the mind, body and spirit of people with physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and mental health needs,” said Associate Professor and Bison Strides Program Director Erika Berg.
Bison Strides is working to raise money for this program through Giving Hearts Day. Bison Strides is looking to raise $102,500 to match the funds that were given by the John Ballantyne Donor Advised Fund of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation and Swanston Equipment Company.
“The gratitude shown for each and every dollar given, no matter the size of the gift, is a special part of this event,” said Berg.
Giving Hearts day is a great way for students to give back to their community and learn about opportunities around the area. According to Giving Hearts Day, “It’s not just a day, though. It’s a year-round effort.” Students can build connections and relationships with organizations while supporting a cause.
To learn more about Giving Hearts Day click here.