WILLISTON, N.D. - Valentine’s Day has become more than a holiday for local non-profit organizations. Raising over $13 million dollars in North Dakota and the western Minnesota region last year.
The Impact Institute's annual Giving Hearts Day fundraiser has helped over 450 non-profits meet their goals.
Two Williston non-profits regard it as one of their most important fundraisers of the year.
Upper Missouri Ministries has been a part of the 24-hour online fundraiser for four years, and staff say they have important plans this year to put all of the money toward creating sidewalks and hard surfaces for kids who have limited mobility.
"So all those kids of all abilities we want to have come to camp. Some of them over the years have decided not to come because it's challenging. We've had a few who have come out in power wheel chairs and other things, and it's a challenge to get around camp. So this will really impact those kids," said Upper Missouri Ministries Executive Director Nick Johnson.
Giving Hearts Day is also the second biggest fundraiser of the year for Williston Trinity Christian School. They raise almost one million dollars a year from their various fundraisers, and use that money of offset tuition costs so parents only pay 60 percent of what it takes to educate a child.
"Giving hearts day is a very important part of that support that we give all of our children," said Terry Haugen, the director of development for Williston Trinity Christian School.
Nick Johnson says this year the Impact Institute's goal is to raise 14 million dollars, adding "That's pretty awesome. So they're just asking people to just raise your hand and say I want to make an impact."
"We pray for all of our donors, and for all of our community. I guess that's the unique thing about Williston. It's just a great giving community," says Terry Haugen.
A donor has vowed to match up to 25 thousand dollars in donations for Williston Trinity Christian School, and three donors want to promote donations by coming together to match 17 thousand dollars in donations for Upper Missouri Ministries.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Upper Missouri Ministries will be inviting people into their office for coffee, donuts, and conversation as a way to thank donors, and to allow people a chance to donate. You can go to givingheartsday.org to donate to any local non-profit until midnight tonight.