Here’s A New Way For Your Business To Give Back

Written by: Brady Drake
DMF Executive Director Pat Traynor, Western State Bank Market President Dan Jacobson, Eyecare Associates Co-owner Dr. Barbra Brookshire and Lend A Hand Up Director NOLAN SCHMIDT Jeana Peinovich

Is your business looking to start a new holiday giving tradition this year?

Big Boost Week is a great way to support families in our community going through a medical crisis. Hosted by Lend A Hand Up, this new online giving event will take place the week after Thanksgiving, Nov. 30 – Dec. 4th.

There are many worthwhile reasons to participate. Big Boost Week gifts:

  • are distributed to help 14 area families through one charitable donation.
  • increase in value by 20%.
  • are eligible for “Big Boosts” up to $5,000.  
  • winners will recommend the families that receive big boosts.

Big Boost drawings will be announced daily on the Lend A Hand Up Facebook page.  Boosts are sponsored by Dakota Medical Foundation, Alex Stern Family Foundation and other members of the Fargo business community, including Western State Bank and Eyecare Associates.

Dan Jacobson, market president for Western State Bank commends the program for continuing to create new and meaningful ways to help area families. 

“Over the years, many of our employees have rolled up their sleeves to volunteer at benefits supported by Lend A Hand Up,” Jacobson says. “Now, without an option for in-person events, this new giving event provides an easy way for people and businesses to help their fellow community members.”

3 Ways You Can Help Today

  • Support Big Boost Week.
  • Spread the word.
  • Tune into daily drawings on the Facebook Page.

Dr. Barb Brookshire represents Eyecare Associates, which has served as a generous Lend A Hand Up sponsor since 2011.  

“My friend and colleague, Dr. Kevin Melicher, introduced me to the Lend A Hand Up team several years ago, and we have supported the program ever since,” says Dr. Brookshire. “(Lend A Hand Up Director) Jeana (Peinovich) has such a drive and determination when it comes to helping local families suffering through a medical crisis. It is truly awe-inspiring.  I love that every dollar raised is going to help someone in my community.” 

For Dr. Brookshire, the importance of the program has become even more evident, as one of her employees, Kudzai, is dealing with his own medical hardship. 

“This summer, my work family suffered a devastating blow as one of our beloved team members had a medical emergency and is now on the receiving end of a Lend A Hand Up online benefit,” she says. “The support Kudzai is getting from the community is amazing.  We are just so grateful for this organization and to the people who have donated to help him get better.”

Kudzai is just one of 14 individuals and families who will benefit from Big Boost Week. There’s 1-year-old Jay Fischer, who’s awaiting a stem cell transplant. There’s Avery, a teenager, recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor. There’s Cody Binstock, a West Fargo 21-year-old who suffered a catastrophic spinal injury.  There’s Oak Reile, also recovering from an accident. And Julian “Duane” Elofson who is no longer able to live independently due to the progression of his degenerative disease.  In addition to these fundraisers, the remaining Big Boost recipients are families facing lost wages and looming medical expenses  – all due to cancer. Learn More/Give.

The Lend A Hand Up Boost Week families

According to Jeana Peinovich, Lend A Hand Up Director, medical expenses continue to be the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.

“Before COVID-19, Lend A Hand Up focused on helping people host community benefits,” she says. “Due to social distancing and other restrictive measures, the program has had to pivot.  Crowdfunding resources now include online auction tools, which provide a virtual benefit experience. All money raised is directly deposited into benefit funds established for an  individual and their family.”

Pat Traynor, President of Dakota Medical Foundation states, “Lend A Hand Up brings out the best in everyone. The program’s resources inspire and enhance the efforts of a caring community coming together to help their neighbors.“

Since launching in 2008, nearly $20 M has been raised through Lend A Hand Up fundraisers. Now, with even more families experiencing medical challenges, Big Boost Week offers a new and impactful way for community members to help. 

To participate in Lend A Hand Up’s Big Boost Week to help local families, learn more and give visit  or call Jeana Peinovich at 701-356-2661. 

About Lend A Hand Up

Lend A Hand Up was launched in 2008 as an initiative of Dakota Medical Foundation to inspire and enhance generosity for families in medical crisis. Fundraising resources inlude: online giving and auction tools, planning templates, personal coaching, and up $5,000 of boost grants per fundraiser. All operational costs are covered by Dakota Medical Foundation so 100% of gifts help families.

Unlike other crowdfunding sites that solicit tips or keep a percentage of proceeds, Lend A Hand Up takes nothing away from the giving process. So every dollar raised goes directly to families. Even better, gifts are boosted 20% up to $5,000 to enhance the success of every family fundraiser. Since launching in 2008, Lend A Hand Up and community members have raised nearly $20 million for more than 500 local families throughout Cass, Clay, and parts of Becker County.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.