Tomorrow it’s suppose to be a high of four below with a wind chill of forty below…FORTY BELOW, no joke. How many times have I been asked, why do you live in Fargo, North Dakota? What is there in Fargo? Truth is I have asked myself why do I live here a few times. It was during my Freshmen year of college at, Concordia in Moorhead, Minnesota, where we got incredible amounts of snow and walking to class was miserable, that I thought for the first time, there is no way I’m living here after I graduate college.
A few years later, here I am…not just living here but I have since moved back. I took a one year sabbatical, as I like to call it, from Fargo to Iowa and back again. Glad I ventured out and experienced something else for a change but there is something about Fargo, it can draw you in.
It’s a growing city, that expands almost by the second. It has a thriving night life, too many restaurants to count, sports teams; like the Four Time National Championship Bison Football team, the Fargo Force Hockey team, Redhawks Baseball, a nationally known Marathon (Fargo Marathon) that is traveled to and ran by people all over the world. Not only that it has a vast market of job opportunities. It really is more verse than people would believe.
For all those reasons I love Fargo, but it’s the people I love the most. This community is remarkable and has some of the most caring and welcoming people I have ever met in my life. There is something to be said about “Fargo Nice”, “Minnesota Nice” & “North Dakota Nice”.
Giving Hearts Day is a prime example of that “Nice”. Around this time every year in February, for eight years now, there is a day that is devoted to giving to charities throughout the state of North Dakota and some of Minnesota.
But the “catch”, as we shall call it, is that all donations of $10 or more up to $4,000 will be matched to whatever charity you give to. What an INCREDIBLE and AMAZING event to happen for all these worthy causes. 289 charities benefited this year from one day. Last year over $5.6 million dollars total was donated and this year it surpassed that number with over $6 million donated. One day, one small part of our country unites to one common goal…to help those more deserving than ourselves.
It’s a day of selflessness and as the name says a day of giving. Around Fargo it was a buzz all day with different activities going on that anyone could get involved with to bring awareness to their certain cause. And involved did the community get.
I myself was fortunate to get word about an event happening only a few blocks from work, the TNT Kid’s Fitness was holding their first ever Trampoline-A-Thon with a live webcast for people to view. Businesses and volunteers around the Fargo-Moorhead area were asked to join if able for this fun filled event. How could I not be a part of this.
“TNT Kid’s Fitness & Gymnastics is organized for the purpose of providing all boys and girls, regardless of age, financial, mental or physical ability the opportunity to experience the benefits of gymnasts and fitness while becoming part of our family of athletes. The officers, directors, staff and volunteers are committed to helping children to reach full potential through utilization of exercise or the sport of gymnastics to encourage expanded opportunities.” (http://www.tntkidsfitness.com/about-us/why-tnt/)
Walking in we were greeted and welcomed over the speaker system and you immediately felt at ease as everyone clapped for you as you entered. But it wasn’t just us who got that treatment, it was everyone who walked through that door. It’s a special place that holds their arms open for everyone and there is no judgement, they know that each and every person there is important and perfect just the way they are.
We got to bounce on the trampolines, volunteers trading back and forth and there wasn’t one person there who didn’t have a smile on their face. But the moment that made me realize the most what this was all about was the moment when I was asked if I would bounce next to one of the kids who benefits from the donations. His name was Rocus (spelling?) and he was in a wheelchair, he could not say much but you knew he was thrilled to be there. When I asked him if it was okay if I bounced with him, his enthusiastic response was “YEEEAAAHHH”. His caretaker jumped with him and I right next to them and I wish I could describe the sound Rocus made when they began to bounce. If you ever wanted to hear the pure, innocent sound of joy, I’m pretty sure that was it. His squeals of joy were contagious and you just wanted to keep on bouncing forever just to hear that sound of joy he was making. It was a special moment that I know I’ll forever cherish. Him and so many other kids were why we were doing what we were doing.
The half hour we were there flew by and it didn’t seem enough but to them it was everything. That was only one story yesterday out of 289 causes. Many more stories, many more moments were felt and experienced through out Fargo, Moorhead, North Dakota and Minnesota and it made my heart happy to think what a difference everyone out there was making.
Here in Fargo, it’s a community that cares. It’s a community that Gives of themselves day in and day out, time after time. Giving Hearts Day is one day that is recognized for the love that goes on around here in Fargo but honestly it never stops it continues each and everyday.
So when someone asks me why do I love Fargo, why do I live here? Because of the caring, giving, warm and most of all loving people.