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Donations give Grand Forks sunshine in the dark of winter

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)--It's the most generous day of the year in our region -- as people give millions of dollars to local charities.

The Sunshine Hospitality Home is almost finished.

"I wish it would've been available for them,” said Donor, Kathy Johnson.

It’s a project patients have waited a long time for.

"About almost 6 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I was going through the cancer treatment at the cancer center at Altru,” said Johnson.

Soon families will get to sleep here while their loved ones get treatment.

"I asked them one time why they drove all the time that's quite a distance and they said we can't afford to stay in a motel,” said Johnson.

Kathy Johnson is donating to her favorite charity because she knows first hand how difficult it can be.

"It's devastating just the treatment is,” said Johnson.

But today is a day dedicated to doing good...

"They feel really more inclined to give because their gift is, they're not only going for a good cause but it's also matched,” said Theresa Garbe, of the Sunshine House Hospitality Home.

And the money is going a long way in Grand Forks.

Valley Memorial Homes hopes to pair seniors with toddlers for a special head start program--but they need some safety features for the playground before it can open.

"We're going to have a rubberized mat on top of the cement versus wood chips or something like that so it's easy for our residents to go out there and interact with the children,” said Mindy Marcus, of 4000 Valley Square.

Valley Health and the Women's Pregnancy Center in Grand Forks are looking for funds to continue free services.

The Museum of Art is looking to bring in more exhibits, and the Empire is aiming to add LED lighting.

"It's a wonderful thing when we can help in our community. Where we know it's going to stay and help people right in our local community,” said Johnson.

Giving us sunshine in the dark of winter.

If you would like to make a donation on Giving Hearts Day, click here.