A Fargo Mom’s Guide to Giving Hearts Day

As a local mom, I am familiar with Giving Hearts Day and have even donated to organizations who participated in this great event, but I didn’t fully realize the extent of the impact this special day has for our area!

Giving Hearts Day is on February 11th, so now is the time to start thinking about where you would like to invest in your community. Not sure where to start? This guide can help!

History of Giving Hearts Day

Hosted by the Dakota Medical Foundation, Giving Hearts Day is a simple concept: around Valentine’s Day, ask people to show affection to not only people they love but local non-profits, too.

Since its inception in 2008, it has become one of the longest-running and most successful giving days in the country. Giving Hearts Day provides a platform for North Dakota and northwest Minnesota non-profits to raise more than $71 million.

In addition, it’s not just a day, it’s a year-round effort. Participating organizations receive training from the Fargo-based Impact Institute to help them build a fundraising system that they put to use on Giving Hearts Day. Once built, they’ve made it to the “Super Bowl” of giving in the Upper Midwest.

2020 Impact

Giving Hearts Day has become the region’s day to feed the hungry, nurture the elderly, and educate tomorrow’s leaders. In 2020 alone, more than 30,000 people donated and the day raised $19.1 million through local donations.

There are nearly 500 non-profit organizations participating in Giving Hearts Day this year. Moms are short on time but eager to show love, so here’s a wrap-up of some non-profits to support.

Support Moms, Babies & Families

Hopeful Heart Project: A non-profit organization dedicated to providing hope, healing, and support to parents who have endured the tremendous loss of a child.

Jeremiah Program Fargo Moorhead: The Jeremiah Program prepares determined single mothers to succeed in the workforce. They also help ready their children to succeed in school and reduce their dependence on public assistance.

Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley: Keeps families together, minimizes the financial burden of medical care, and provides the comfort of home while children are receiving medical care.

YWCA of Cass Clay: A place for women and children to turn as they escape violence, homelessness, and crisis. The YWCA provides safety, warmth, and hope to women and empowers them to break the cycle of poverty and violence.

Support Filling Food Gaps

Fill the Dome: This food drive, powered by Metro Area Student Ambassadors, brings together youth of all ages for a common purpose: ensuring local food pantries have food on the shelves and funds to fill the gaps.

Great Plains Food Bank: Works to end hunger in North Dakota and western Minnesota through community partnerships. They are the largest hunger-relief organization in North Dakota and serve as its only food bank.

Emergency Food Pantry: A food distribution program whose mission is to provide referred families and individuals facing emergency situations with one week’s supply of healthy food.

Support Local Sports

Cullen Children’s Fund: Provides financial assistance to individual kids as well as children’s healthcare organizations within the Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding areas. Matt Cullen, a NHL player and Moorhead native and his wife Bridget started the Cullen Children’s Foundation in 2004. Past gifts have supported “Cully’s Cabin” at Sanford Children’s and a remodel of the Essentia Health NICU. 

Fargo Invaders: The Fargo Invaders want to keep talent & diversity in the F/M community by providing a means for athletes and families to stay involved. The Fargo Invaders are a nonprofit, minor league football team that plays on Saturdays from May to August. The team consists of former college players, and has won two Championships in four years!

Fargo Youth Hockey Association: Provides the youth of Fargo with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of hockey, learn sportsmanship and teamwork, to develop a sense of responsibility and self-discipline, to learn to compete within a set of established rules, to learn to accept the decisions of authorized officials and to develop sound minds and bodies.

Special Olympics of North Dakota: Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 32 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. They offer sports all year round with weekly practices, periodic games and annual tournaments.

Support Local Children

Boys & Girls Club of the Red River Valley: Provides a safe, caring, and fun environment for kids to learn, grow, and prepare for a bright future.

Boy Scouts: It is the mission of the Northern Lights Council, Boy Scouts of America, to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath.

Bio Girls: BIO Girls improves self-esteem of adolescent girls through empowerment of self and service to others. Girls identify inner strengths, demonstrate accountability, set goals and work towards goal attainment as well as serve others.

Youthworks: Helps homeless, runaway, trafficked, and struggling youth in North Dakota.

Support Girls in Tech

uCode Girl: uCodeGirl is a camp that exists to remove roadblocks for teen girls that prevent them from becoming the future face of innovation in technology. Girls dive into coding, design, web development and robotics projects. They explore their interests and develop skills like creative problem solving, analytical thinking, collaboration, marketing their ideas and more.

Support Reading

Little Red Reading Bus: This project serves to inspire children to discover the joy of reading, as well as enhance the development of reading, by providing books for check-out throughout West Fargo during the summer. The little bus is essentially a “library on wheels”; an idea which evolved from the book mobile of days gone by. Donations received will help cover operational costs, including books and gasoline, to keep the bus rolling.

Haley’s Hope: Did you know that 1 in 5 people have dyslexia? Haley’s Hope is an organization dedicated to changing the way people recognize and understand the way those with dyslexia learn. HOPE is the foundation of their mission.

Support the Environment

HERO (Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization):  Collects and distributes donated healthcare supplies to those in need locally and globally at low or no-cost. Therefore, their approach to recycling helps customers to remain safe and independent in their homes during medical recovery and aging.

Audubon Dakota: Audubon Dakota aims to connect with communities throughout North and South Dakota to demonstrate the importance of protecting and restoring native habitats for our bird species. They create those connections through our Urban Woods and Prairies Initiative and through their Working Lands programs. 

Support Animals

There are so many animal shelters that need our help to protect and save animals. Homeward Animal Shelter, 4 Luv of Dog Rescue, Cats Cradle Shelter, Inc., and Diamond in the Ruff Pet Rescue are all local pet rescues in the F/M area.

Support Farmers

Farm Rescue: We probably all know at least one farmer and if you do, you know how unforgiving farming can be. Farm Rescue offers planting and harvesting assistance to farm families who have experienced a major injury, illness, or natural disaster.

North Dakota Farm Bureau Foundation: Gives the next generation a chance to continue strengthening and promoting agriculture in North Dakota. They fund youth scholarships, research, and programs that teach students about farming and where their food comes from.

Other Ways to Support

If you aren’t sure if any of the above are the right fit, there are other options to donate. You can donate to your local school, an organization that supports the arts community, and many others. You can find the list of organizations participating in Giving Hearts Day here.

As you can see, there are so many charities that support the Fargo/Moorhead area. Make sure you hop online on February 11th to make a donation to your favorite organizations. Let’s show them some love this Giving Hearts Day!




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