Giving Hearts Day coming to Hettinger

est River Health Services Foundation is being added as an eligible recipient to the Giving Hearts Day fundraiser on February 14th. West River Health Services is just one among 355 charities in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota that people can donate to through the fundraiser. During the event, donations given to West River Health Services on Giving Hearts Day will be matched, up to $26,000.

Frank Turner

West River Health Services is using Giving Hearts Day as an opportunity to start a completely new physician recruitment endowment fund.

“We feel the top priority of West River Health Services right now is to hire and recruit the top physicians who will come and practice medicine in our area,” said Uecker, “We had a few physicians retire and a few physicians leave to be near family and we need to fill those positions.”

Each charity participating in the event is an IRS tax-exempt organization in good standing and labeled a “high-impact nonprofit” by the hosting organizations.

Giving Hearts Day started with the Dakota Medical Foundation and the Alex Stern Foundation matching donations for hospitals in the eastern North Dakota. Over the years, the event evolved and grew with more small businesses and non-profits joining the event.

In the past, Giving Hearts day has been met with great success being the largest one-day, online fundraiser in North Dakota. Last year they raised approximately 13.2 million dollars for non-profits.

According to Uecker, the matching funds for West River Health Services have been raised from the local community. They received $5,000 from Slope Electric Cooperative, $5,000 from Dakota Western Bank, $2,500 from the Community Clothes Closet, and $13,500 from West River Health physicians.   

“We want our community excited about the event. We have $26,000 sitting there and now we need to encourage the community to participate on Giving Hearts Day so we can receive the matches,” said Uecker. 

Uecker’s excitement for the event was palpable as he discussed the possibilities of involving the community.

“We want to get involved in local events like local school basketball games. We hope to have the students wearing red wristbands, socks, and shirts to raise awareness of Giving Hearts Day.”

The fundraiser has been running for over ten years with involvement from the Alex Stern Family Foundation, the Impact Institute, and the Dakota Medical Foundation. To donate, individuals can either donate directly at or contact the hospital with a check dated for February 14th. 

All donations received during the event will go directly into the West River Health Services Foundation account. The immense community support already received shows the level of impact Giving Hearts Day could bring to the local hospital.