Concordia’s biggest day for donations, Giving Hearts Day, has helped participating non-profits and charities raise more than $70 million since it was founded. Giving Hearts Day is a national event that was founded in 2008. It is a 24-hour event for more than 400 different charities to get the opportunity to raise donations to fund their missions. The event is co-hosted by the Dakota Medical Foundation, Impact Foundation, and Alex Stern Family Foundation.
The event brings donations from many alumni and most of the donations for Concordia College go towards student scholarships.
The Giving Hearts Day website summarizes the event, stating “Around Valentine’s Day, ask people to show affection to not only people they love but charities, too. In the decade-plus since, the event has gone on to become one of the longest-running and most successful giving days in the country, providing a platform for North Dakota and northwest Minnesota charities to raise more than $71 million total.”
Concordia junior Justin Monroe has been helping with Concordia’s social media push for Giving Hearts Day, encouraging alumni to not only donate to Concordia but other organizations as well. On Thursday, he will be going live every two hours on Concordia’s Instagram and Facebook. They will be doing things such as talking to one of the donors, visiting the Concordia Choir, and if they raise $15,000 by 3 p.m., Kernel Cobb and a few members of the basketball team will race down Olin Hill.
“To me, Giving Hearts Day is the day you can show your favorite organizations and nonprofits some love by making gifts to them. These gifts make so many things possible, especially for Concordia students, as most of our scholarships and academic buildings are paid for by our amazing donors,” Monroe said.
Katherine Halvorson, the associate director for the Concordia Annual Fund, explains that Giving Hearts Day is more than donations to the college.
“We love participating, but we also want to have a presence on that day, we love to support all the other Cobbers that are working on behalf of these other organizations that are raising dollars too for their important work that they do in our community and beyond. So, we’ve got alumni that are working these organizations and students that are interning,” she said.
“Giving hearts day is really an inspiring day to work an organization that’s participating because the different organizations we partner together, and you just see the thousands of people that are supporting all these worthwhile organizations that make our communities better,” Halvorson continued.
One generous alumni donated $20,000, which is the goal for donations. Every gift over $10 will be matched up to $20,000.
Concordia College is not the only organization participating. Lexi Ostenaa and other employees from Creative Care for Reaching Independence (CCRI) will be doing a polar plunge outside of their offices.
“CCRI is committed to providing individualized support to people with disabilities throughout all stages in their life,” according to their website.
Anyone can take the plunge as long as they raise at least $75. The money will go towards their individuals and will help fund trips and improve their quality of life.
“It’s important to donate to CCRI because the money being donated helps improve the quality of life for each individual we have. It’s helping fund trips for clients who wouldn’t be able to afford them, it helps fund our cooking classes and activities we do with the clients and it helps us to be able to make sure each individual gets everything they need in order to thrive in their day to day life,” Ostenaa said.
Giving Hearts Day has become the region’s day to feed the hungry, nurture the elderly, and educate tomorrow’s leaders, according to the Giving Hearts Day website.
“It’s so fun to see the generosity that exists within the community,” Halvorson said.