Gate City Bank & Rape & Abuse Crisis Center gather after the charity won the bank’s $50K Giving Hearts Day nomination contest

Gate City Bank Reaches $2M in Donations During Giving Hearts Day 2024.

ND & MN – From surprise financial donations to a larger-than-life initiative to tackle food insecurity and everything in between, when it came to Giving Hearts Day 2024, one thing was certain – Gate City Bank’s appetite to give was BIG.

When all was said and done, Gate City Bank donated more than $250,000 toward Giving Hearts Day charities that keep communities strong, bringing its total giving over the past 10 years to $2 million. The bank has been proud to partner with Giving Hearts Day since 2014, helping 300 charities and matching 100% of team member donations (including volunteer hours).

“At Gate City Bank, we wholeheartedly believe in giving back to the places we call home – because it leads to a better way of life,” said Kevin Hanson, President & CEO. “A giving heart brings out the very best in each of us, and as we celebrate a decade of our wonderful partnership with Giving Hearts Day, we continue to be reminded of the passion that exists for our amazing charities, which is a true testament to the goodness that lives in our communities.”

Nominating Beloved Neighbors.

Sometimes making a difference starts with something as simple as a nomination, which is why Gate City Bank’s Giving Hearts Day nomination contests have grown in popularity in recent years. They allow individuals to nominate their favorite charities as many times and as often as they want, all for the chance to create a better way of life.

The bank put $50,000 up for grabs in 2024, which sparked a huge response from community members who were eager to share the love. A whopping more than 150,000 entries were submitted, bringing the bank’s total nominations since its Giving Hearts Day partnership began to over 823,000.

During a Giving Hearts Day event at Dakota Medical Foundation the morning of February 8, a room erupted into cheers and happy tears as Gate City Bank revealed Rape and Abuse Crisis Center (RACC) as the big winner! The charity, which offers confidential crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling and education to all persons affected by sexual and domestic violence, was beyond thrilled to receive the funds.

“We are very fortunate to live in a region where we’re surrounded by loving community partners like Gate City Bank, who are so willing and eager to support the missions of charities like ours,” said Christopher Johnson, CEO of Rape and Abuse Crisis Center. “The bank is a true example of what it means to be a philanthropic organization that takes the lead in helping others, and I’m happy to say that this generous gift will impact the lives of thousands.”

In an essay initially submitted to Gate City Bank to be eligible for the $50,000 donation, RACC described in heartfelt detail how the bank’s donation would be a “saving grace” by helping to grow the nonprofit’s 24-7 team of advocates, who are a crucial lifeline to those struggling in the aftermath of sexual assault or domestic violence. RACC added that the funds would remove financial barriers to healing and empowerment, creating a better way of life in the process. 

Hitting Hunger Where It Hurts.

Gate City Bank’s nomination contest was just a taste of all the excitement that came with Giving Hearts Day 2024. During an initial kick-off event at Dakota Medical Foundation on January 18, the bank also revealed its plans to commit $100,000 to West Fargo Eats in the fight against hunger. The nonprofit was once a pop-up food pantry, and in 2021 transformed into a permanent hunger relief program in West Fargo, ND – the first of its kind in the community.

This gift is vital in terms of expanding West Fargo Eats’ programs, feeding more neighbors in need and enhancing sustainability for the future of the community. It also bumps Gate City Bank’s financial contributions to West Fargo Eats to more than $220,000 since 2021. The partnership hits close to home for everyone at the bank, especially the team members who have spent countless volunteer hours helping the charity thrive in its mission.

Showing Some Drive.

Gate City Bank is honed in on hunger for a good reason – one in six people experience it in North Dakota alone, with 50% being children and senior citizens. That’s why, during the January 18 event, the bank also launched a large-scale food drive involving all of its locations across North Dakota and central Minnesota. Through this effort, the plan was to amass a stockpile of food items that would strategically enhance the region’s food security – and it worked.

Through various fundraisers, jeans days, community donation bins and other means, Gate City Bank collected more than 3,000 nonperishable food items! All of which were delivered to local food-associated nonprofits across the bank’s footprint the week of February 12. One by one, as local teams hauled boxes of food into pantries, soup kitchens and shelters, the individuals who run those services were overcome with joy and appreciation.

Pledging Funds to Police.

In addition to piling up donations from the multi-community food drive, Gate City Bank piled on support for the Fargo Police Department leading up to Giving Hearts Day by pledging $100,000 to the Badges of Unity Fund. These brave men and women serve their community by selflessly stepping into the line of duty every day. They’ve answered a remarkable calling, and the bank is beyond thankful for the courage that lives within the hearts behind each badge.

The bank’s financial contribution to the Fargo Police Department will help send a number of local first responders and Officer Jake Wallin’s family members to Washington, D.C. on May 15. This is so that they can attend the annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, where Officer Wallin and other fallen heroes will be honored.

Officer Wallin tragically died while responding to the site of a traffic accident in summer 2024, where a gunman opened fire on the scene. Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes were left in critical condition from the incident, and the suspect died at the scene as a result of Officer Zach Robinson’s brave actions to protect bystanders. It was a day that shook the community, but it also led to a heartfelt display of love and support from the bank and others.

Giving More Hope With a Golden Opportunity.

Giving Hearts Day 2024 was most definitely one to remember. Between a successful community nomination contest, calculated efforts to fight area hunger and a heartfelt gesture to back local police, Gate City Bank proudly took a multi-pronged approach to making a difference in its communities – but it had one more trick up its sleeve.

Just as Giving Hearts Day was about to conclude, Gate City Bank donated an additional $10,000! As part of Dakota Medical Foundation’s Golden Ticket selections, which were chosen through random drawings throughout the day. The money went to Hope Blooms, a Fargo-based nonprofit that inspires hope, happiness and emotional healing through repurposed flowers. It was a beautiful end to Giving Hearts Day – and a bold way to kick off an entire year of even more giving.

“When it comes to building onto the legacy of Giving Hearts Day, Gate City Bank continues to make an impactful difference each year,” said Amanda Sayre, Giving Hearts Day Director at Dakota Medical Foundation. “We’re incredibly grateful for the bank’s unwavering passion for growing community awareness around this inspiring day, which touches the lives of countless individuals in our communities.”

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