Giving Hearts Day offers incentives, more options this year | Local News for Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota

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When Debbie Fettig and Denise Fettig-Loftenes’ mother and father were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease weeks apart in late 2020, one of the first things they did was contact the Association Alzheimers.

The sisters and their seven other siblings coordinated across the country on Zoom calls with North Dakota program director Nikki Wegner to learn how to keep their parents together and in their apartment.

“They were our lifeboat for us,” Fettig-Loftenes said of the organization.

The Alzheimer’s Association is one of many charities that benefit from Giving Hearts Day, an annual statewide fundraiser that this year offers donors incentives and other ways to support charities. .

Fettig said the Alzheimer’s Association helped the family figure out what the next steps were for their parents, including bringing in an occupational therapist to help them keep their apartment safe.

“There are so many factors it’s just overwhelming,” Fettig said. “Besides being diagnosed, you have to look at everything else around it.”

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The organization offers free services such as a 24/7 hotline, caregiver support groups and connections to other services statewide, Wegner said.

The Alzheimer’s Association is one of 540 charities taking part in Giving Hearts Day on Thursday.

Giving Hearts Day is the longest giving day in the country, said director Amber DeKrey. The Dakota Medical Foundation launched it in 2008 and last year the event raised $22 million from more than 42,000 donors.

“It’s a day that brings out the best in the community,” she said.

Donors this year can pledge volunteer hours or donations of goods as well as financial contributions.

Donors can also purchase gift cards that allow recipients to donate to a charity of their choice. DeKrey said gift cards are popular stocking stuffers during the holiday season or are used in schools to give students the option of choosing a charity to support.

Giving Hearts Day also offers “golden ticket” prizes. Winners will be selected every hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will have the opportunity to have up to $10,000 donated to an organization of their choice. Donors also have the chance to win a 2022 Chevy Silverado for themselves.

Organizations such as North Dakota’s Gateway to Science rely on Giving Hearts Day to fund a large portion of their operating budgets. The Bismarck Hands-On Science Center receives no state or federal funding.

Director of Development Lesley Icenogle said the organization has raised $650,000 during Giving Day since joining in 2012. Donations have grown from $3,500 in the first year the organization was involved to over $100,000 last year.

“If we didn’t have the community supporting us, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” she said.

To participate in Giving Hearts Day, go to giveheartsday.org.

Contact Sam Nelson at 701-250-8264 or [email protected]

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