Dakota Medical Foundation
Letter to the Editor: Catch the kindness contagion
J. Patrick Traynor writes, “From Crookston to Cando to the Capitol in Bismarck, Giving Hearts Day has become an annual reminder to all of us about why we’re here: to care for one another.”
A little before 10 in the morning on Giving Hearts Day, I stood in the atrium of Dakota Medical Foundation soaking it all in. There were no less than 100 people shoulder-to-shoulder around the small stage we had set up, anxiously waiting to find out who would be the lucky winner of Gate City Bank’s $100,000 boost. Balloons fell from above and the crowd went wild as it was announced that CCRI would be receiving the life-changing gift.
There were shrieks and hugs, and if you didn’t know better, you’d have thought you were at a concert or a pep rally. The energy was palpable.
To realize that all these people were gathered to celebrate giving was enough to bring a tear to your eye. To think about all the good that will be done with that money was enough to bring a second.
The thing I love most about Giving Hearts Day, though, is that you don’t need 100 grand to make a difference. Across North Dakota and western Minnesota, thousands of people this year made a gift of $10-$20 and pledged to volunteer or give goods to their favorite charity. In the process, they felt the incomparable joy that giving brings you and will no doubt share that feeling with someone else.
It’s in this way that the Giving Hearts spirit spreads across the region. It’s hard not to catch the contagion of kindness. From Crookston to Cando to the Capitol in Bismarck, Giving Hearts Day has become an annual reminder to all of us about why we’re here: to care for one another.
With the $26 million raised on Feb. 9 — in addition to the more than 1,700 volunteer pledges and thousands of pounds of food donated — GHD is now nearing $165 million since its founding more than 15 years ago. The day has reached heights we truly couldn’t have imagined in 2008, but it’s what those dollar signs represent that makes me truly grateful to live where I do. They represent empathy and generosity and selflessness and all the things the world could use a whole lot more of today.
To everyone who made Giving Hearts Day 2023 a success, thank you from all of us at DMF.