Giving Hearts Day is an annual 24-hour fundraiser founded in 2008 for charities in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. It was held on February 11 this year and raised $21,933,941 from 41,960 donors throughout the area. St. Alphonsus was one of the non-profit organizations involved for the first time this year.
Principal Carrie Hope heard about Giving Hearts Day from Nyk, her husband, who heard about it on the radio. Hope’s friend, Sarah Hinnenkamp, also brought her more information on the program. Hope and Hinnenkamp investigated the process of being involved and dove in.
“To start the process, you must fill out an application and then participate in a phone interview,” explains Hope. Once you are accepted in the Giving Hearts Day program, you attend training webinars to make sure you are prepared for the big day. There are deadlines for the different steps along the way.
“I was very lucky to work with a supportive school board and Sarah Hinnenkamp,” said Hope, “and together we did all the behind-the-scenes steps necessary to have a very successful first year! Sarah was so much help, and her wonderful talent was much needed and appreciated. We all worked together as a team to have lots of fun, make great memories, and have a successful event.”
Hope promoted the event through newspaper articles and social media posts. The school board promoted the event through talking with community members. Students were also involved. When the big day came, everyone wore red, enjoyed heart cookies for dessert at lunchtime, and a video was made with the students in it.
“All the money that is collected through checks for Giving Hearts Day is sent directly to our school,” said Hope. “Through the Giving Hearts Day program, we set up a profile that was linked for donators to make donations through their website. The Giving Hearts Day program is very well-managed and organized.”
Original plans for the funds raised were for 15 iPads to make the school a one-to-one learning community in K-8; fixtures and supplies for the school’s first-ever STEAM lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math); and an electronic sign for their campus so the community can learn about what’s going on in the school. Donations of $10 or more were to be matched up to $15,000. At the end of the day, St. Alphonsus School exceeded their goal by almost 50 percent.
“Our goal was $30,000, and we reached $44,400 on Giving Hearts Day,” said Hope. “That includes our $15,000 in matching funds.” Extra funds will be used to continue to fulfill classroom and curriculum updates as needed.
“We are all very thankful for the community’s support in making our first Giving Hearts Day a huge success,” said Hope. “We are proud of our school, and with the support we can reach some of our school goals. We look forward to participating in Giving Hearts Day 2022! I would like to thank our school board, teachers, staff, and Sarah for their help and dedication to this event!”